What would a Spurs playoff series be without former NBA star Charles Barkley, San Antonio's nemesis?
Barkley, who also happens to love Manu Ginóbili, the entire Spurs franchise and Mayor Julián Castro, is back as part of the NBA TV coverage team and he hasn't changed his tune, nor has he come up with any new jokes about San Antonio women.
Last year during the Western Conference Final against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Barkley and Castro traded (friendly) blows on air with the mayor inviting him for a sightseeing trip:
It may be that Barkley's comments are rooted in a deep love for the city, or maybe it was just the cameras, but Sir Charles does seem to be enjoying himself on the May 2012 day trip following the mayor's invitation.
Not only that, but the people of River City are very welcoming of the big man with the bad golf swing like he was one of the family, a true hermano.
Ah, but 2013 is a new year, and Sir Charles couldn't resist the gentle nudge by Shaquille O'Neil to get him going again:
Not being fooled by last year's friendly visit, Mayor Castro was ready for Chuck to cross the line this year, pouncing at the chance to show off San Antonio's four championship rings.
So will Charles ever fully come around to embracing San Antonio both in person and on air?
Only time will tell, but I would imagine that Sir Charles is too deep in the joke at this point. As long as the Spurs are contending, Charles will be there with his jokes, and at this point it just wouldn't feel right for him to stop.
After all, what does a superhero do once all the villains are vanquished?