Watching the reigning NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers win both road matchups in San Antonio might have been hard for Spurs fans to see. However the Silver & Black offered us a glimpse of history to close out 2020 & opened 2021 with fiesta flare!
The San Antonio Spurs debuted their long awaited fan favorite Fiesta court & jerseys Friday night as they fell 109-103 to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Spurs now stand 2-4 on the season after dropping their last two home games to the defending NBA champions.
Playing LeBron James & Anthony Davis back to back fresh off of their “bubble” championship is yet another drawback of the Spurs’ travel restriction based schedule this season. After falling to the Utah Jazz 130-109 the Spurs will hit the road for a daunting 5 games in 7 nights. They’ll pay a visit to long cherished & loving friend Kawhi Leonard on the 5th. Then again will see the familiar face of “King James” in Los Angeles this Thursday, January 7th.
The Lakers may be fresh off of hanging an NBA record-tying 17th NBA championship. However, the Spurs are no strangers to championships or history either.
Late in the 2nd quarter of Wednesday’s’ matchup, 15-year WNBA Veteran and seventh year Spurs Assistant Coach Becky Hammon made history! As she became the first women to serve as a head coach of any major league American sports team. Hammon was elevated after Coach Popovich was ejected following a technical foul. In her postgame media availability, Hammon admitted she had “no idea she would be making history” when she arrived for the game. However, can we really be surprised that Pop got thrown out of the 5th game of the season?
Neither Popovichs’ antics nor how well Hammon handled such a monumental moment was a shock to Spurs fans. Hammon is quite literally a pillar of San Antonio basketball. She played 7 of her 15 WNBA seasons with the San Antonio Silver Stars. “Big Shot Becky” a nickname coined after former Spur “Big Shot” Robert Horry, averaged 18 points adding five assists per game during her time in San Antonio before the six-time WNBA All-Star retired in 2014.
Later that year she would accept an assistant coaching position with the Spurs, joining Lisa Boyer of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first wave of female assistant coaches swelled across the NBA. Today there are several women serving in coaching roles throughout the league; Becky being the first “full-time” assistant in 2014. She would later lead the Spurs summer league squad to the 2015 NBA Summer League Championship.
Last season (after a very similar ejection) Coach Pop tossed the keys to the Camaro to NBA Legend Tim Duncan. While the Spurs warmed up with exhibition games prior to the NBA Bubble restart, Hammon served as head coach for the final scrimmage.
This time was different. This game would go in the records books, as would Becky Hammon as she became the first female Head Coach to step foot on an NBA court… all while her #25 Silver Stars jersey hung above her in the AT&T Center rafters. Truly shattering an age old glass ceiling.
It seems as if both losses were overshadowed by monumental moments in Spurs culture. San Antonians might not be a fan of Lebron James & Anthony Davis, however they absolutely adore the long awaited fiesta throwback uniforms. Their reception has been nothing short of sensational, as every size of every jersey sold out!
Undoubtedly they ended up under central Texas Christmas trees.
The team also debuted its’ new NBA “City Edition” alternate court. Both an homage and millennial twist on the old colors that once graced the floor of the half emptied Alamodome.
The Spurs are scheduled to don their fiesta “City Edition” uniforms at-least 5 more times throughout the the 2021 season. While the uniforms will make both road and home appearances it is still unknown if fans will be seeing them in person this season. The organization recently announced that due to the recent uptick and expected surge in COVID-19 cases following the holidays that there is currently not a plan in place for fans to attend in the near future.
Ushering in a new and dare we say “flashy” era of Spurs ball while simultaneously respecting history seems like the exact way the Spurs would end a year like 2020. After such a challenging and divisive year, it can’t be overstated how refreshing it is to see fans fans unite behind Becky and under the iconic Silver & Black. Only now, with an added splash of fiesta!