Wednesday night Spurs fans flooded downtown for a celebration the city hasn’t seen in seven years; since the last time the team brought home an NBA championship.
The doors of the Alamodome opened at 4:30 p.m. and by 8 p.m. nearly every single seat was taken with nearly 70,000 people in attendance. Many fans waited up to five hours to see the team show off the five golden Larry O’Brien Trophies. Overhead, replays of game five and the Spurs river parade played on a large video screens as fans entered the arena.
Fans like Carmen Cortalejo, Jonah Ytuarte, and Reanity Flores say they came to pay their respects and bask in the championship.
"I think that because of last year when they didn’t take it; I think that it was well deserved this year and I think that’s what makes it more emotional,” Cortalejo said.
“It was a tough loss last year and it’s great to get back at them (the Heat); bring that championship back home,” Ytuarte said.
“It’s all of the whole San Antonio, North Side, East Side, West Side, no matter what side you’re from we’re all coming together celebrating our Spurs!" Flores said.
The ceremony, hosted by former Spur Sean Elliot, included all 15 members of the team, who expressed their gratitude to fans, and a heartfelt "thank you" from Coach Gregg Popovich.
“Thank you all for being here. We know it’s a wonderful night for the whole city, for all of you, for all of us,” Popovich said. “But we want to thank you mostly for being the greatest fans in the NBA. You’ve supported us really well.”
Asked to describe working with his team and fellow members of the big three -- Tony Parker and Manu Ginóbili -- center Tim Duncan started with some of the greats, referring to David Robinson, Elliot, and Avery Johnson.
“I learned from there and I get to spend the next 15 years of my career growing up with these two (Parker and Ginóbili), really finding myself as a player, as a person, growing up as an individual and watching them grow,” Duncan said.
The Spurs will now get a well-deserved rest after a grueling season. What’s next for the team in terms next year’s roster is uncertain but what is certain is the team has it’s eyes on number six.