Spurs supporters on campus still reeling after Finals loss

Section Editor

Holding a five-point lead with just 28 seconds left, the San Antonio Spurs had Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals all but won. Miami Heat fans were filing towards the exits, and the court at American Airlines Arena was being roped off as the Spurs were set to celebrate their fifth NBA championship in franchise history.

Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, in the twilight of their careers, were going to ride off into the sunset on top of the basketball world yet again. The mighty Miami Heat had been dethroned, and the dreams of Spurs fans everywhere had come true. They were dreams, however, that would soon spiral into nightmares.

Two missed free throws and defensive rebounds later, the Heat had tied up the game on the heels of Ray Allen’s desperation baseline three-pointer. But as the two teams went to overtime, the ending of the script had already been written. San Antonio had blown their best opportunity to win the title.

After a sensational game-winner from Tony Parker in Game 1 and Danny Green’s record-setting three-point shooting performance in the series, the magic had run out for the Spurs, as the Larry O’Brien Trophy slipped from their grasp with defeats in Game 6 and 7.

Jun. 18 will live forever in infamy for Spurs fans, including those here at St. Edward’s.

“Last season’s loss pretty much made me want to cry,” senior Brian Smith said, “especially since it was the Heat.”

Smith, a Corpus Christi native, is one of a slew of Spurs fans here on the Hilltop. Despite being an internationally diverse campus, St. Edward’s remains a Texas institution, with many of its students hailing from the Lone Star state. As south Texas lacks any real professional sports team outside of the Spurs, many students from the region have developed a certain attachment to the team.

“I have been a Spurs fan ever since I could remember,” junior James Mendez said, “it is an aspect of my life that has been embedded in my family, and also acts as an adhesive in many communities, especially in San Antonio.”

With the new NBA season tipping off this past week, the Spurs finally have their opportunity at redemption following their Finals heartbreak. However, a foul taste remains in the mouths of many.

“We should have won Game 6, there’s no question, but Game 7 we choked,” junior Sophia Gutierrez said, “Manu didn’t have his head in the game and he even admitted it. It was devastating, and it has taken me awhile to get over it.”

There may be some new faces for the Spurs this year but the core ‘big three’ of Duncan, Ginobili and Tony Parker remains, and so does the team’s ability to rebound following adversity.

“One of the defining characteristics of a Spur is resilience,” Mendez said, “and that is exactly what we will see from San Antonio this season.”