SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Fans screamed “Go Spurs Go!” in unison at the slightest glimpse of a San Antonio Spurs’ player or coach floating down the River Walk.
It was reminiscent of last season when the Spurs walked off their team charter to those chants, except the tone Wednesday night was much sweeter.
The victory parade for Spurs’ fifth NBA title was part celebration and part exorcism.
“It is soaking in, but I’m still going to live it up for about the whole summer,” NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard said.
“(I haven’t slept) very much. I’ve been trying to live the moment. It’s been hard to sleep still. Thought I would get some sleep after we won the finals, but I’m still celebrating. ‘Go Spurs Go! San Antonio!'”
After falling 25 seconds shy of capturing the title last season only to fall in seven games to the Miami Heat, the Spurs made another run to the NBA Finals. Except this time, they closed out the Heat in five games for the team’s first title since 2007.
“I cried (last year). I think the rest of the city cried, too,” Spurs fan Rosalinda Gonzalez said. “How they lost, that was bad. It made this year’s victory even more sweet, sweet. (And) the way we did it. All the games that we won were by a billion points. It was awesome. Great comeback.”
Given a chance to celebrate what they couldn’t last year, Spurs fans endured 90-degree heat to line the River Walk and stand outside of the Alamodome up to five hours before the festivities began. The City of San Antonio estimated about 100,000 people attended the River Walk parade and more than 60,000 were at the Alamodome.
And the fans soaked up the moment as if it was the city’s first championship.
As fans awaited the team’s arrival at the Alamodome, a replay of Game 5 of the finals was shown on the large video screens. As the game came to an end, the crowd erupted in cheers as if the moment was just happening. The fans booed loudly when a replay was shown of Heat star LeBron James walking off the court and they screamed joyously when Leonard was announced as MVP.
Even usually cantankerous Spurs coach Gregg Popovich fully embraced the moment, smiling and waving at the crowd as the barge he rode on floated along the River Walk. Popovich raised one finger with a puzzled look before counting off two, three, four and nodding his head when he reached five, raising an outstretched hand to symbolize how many titles the franchise has won.
“We owe it all to Pop,” Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said as his barge made a stop. “He had us playing great basketball at the right time.”
The celebration included former Spurs players David Robinson, Avery Johnson and Malik Rose, all members of the team’s first NBA title in 1999.
The Spurs face an uncertain offseason with up to six possible free agents, but that wasn’t even a consideration for the players or the fans Wednesday. After waiting a year, they all got to exhale and celebrate another title.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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