Last night's game in San Antonio was a special one. The local Spurs to celebrate their 50th anniversary returned to the stadium that once served them. We are talking about Alamodome, where the team from Texas to commemorate the occasion faced the current NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors.
The San Antonio Spurs are one of the most successful teams in NBA. Their history can be traced back to 1967, when the Chaparrals were still established in Dallas and played in the ABA. This was a league that successfully competed with the NBA in terms of popularity in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Texas team moved to San Antonio in 1973 and changed its name to the Spurs. The rest is history.
The ABA ended in 1976 due to poor financial results, but its 4 most established teams joined the NBA. We are talking about the Indiana Pacers, the New York Nets, the Denver Nuggets and of course the Spurs. The team's biggest star at the time was George "Iceman" Gervin, who became a club legend and one of the best players in American basketball history. The Spurs' international recognition was determined by his great successors.
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With the No. 1 pick of the 1987 NBA Draft the San Antonio team selected David Robinson, but before the "Admiral" joined the squad, he had to serve for 2 years in the Navy. The basketball player took the Texans to the next level in sports and marketing. Suffice it to mention that he was a member of the legendary Dream Team that won Olympic gold in Barcelona in 1992. He was also voted the NBA's Most Valuable Player in 1995. It was at this time that the team began to perform at Alomodome, about which more in a moment.
The real turning point for the franchise came in 1996, when Gregg Popovich became their coach. A year later, Tim Duncan was selected with the number 1. pick in the draft. Since then, the team has enjoyed winning the NBA championship 5 times. In addition to the "Big Fundamental", Tony Parker and Manu Ginóbili were the strength of the team, after Robinson ended his career in 2003.
This year is special for the Texas team, currently being in the rebuilding mode. To celebrate the Spurs' 50th anniversary, it was decided to play one of the NBA regular season games at Alomodome. With a capacity of over 65,000 spectators, the arena was the Spurs' home from 1993-2002 before they moved to the smaller AT&T Center. It was here that the team's first-ever NBA championship was celebrated in 1999. Last night the San Antonio team's rival was the current league champions Golden State Warriors.
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The game was attended by a record number of spectators in NBA history. From the stands of the roofed stadium, 68,323 fans watched the Spurs' struggle with the team led by Stephen Curry. This historic result was announced to the audience before the start of the 4th quarter by David Robinson himself.
The hosts lost significantly to the "Warriors", 144:113, putting a fight only in the 1st half. Coach Popovich summed up the whole encounter in his style:
The fans enjoyed themselves even though we were getting our [butts] kicked. They seemed to be having a hell of a time, so there must have been a lot of beer sales out there. For the Spurs, the most points were scored by Tre Jones (21), while Jordan Poole (25) and Donte DiVincenzo (22) led the way for the visitors.
According to Casey Heverling, senior vice president of facilities and general manager of the AT&T Center, it took nearly three years to plan the historic night. While tossing around ideas on how to honour the franchise's 50th anniversary, someone during a brainstorming session asked:
Well, what is the all-time attendance record for the NBA? We did some quick research and came up with the idea to host the game here and try to break that record - Heverling said.
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