SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Hundreds of San Antonio Spurs fans, waving signs and clad in the team’s black, silver and white, gathered at the airport in sweltering heat Friday to greet the team and celebrate the Spurs’ fourth NBA championship.
Screaming “Go, Spurs, Go” as the team arrived, fans rallied by the Coyote mascot and cheerleaders. Three NBA championship trophies on display were joined by the fourth, carried by Tim Duncan, the only Spurs player to be a member of all four championships.
Bruce Bowen rallied the crowd, leading them in a cheer.
“This is all for you. We appreciate all your support during the season,” he said.
Packed near a makeshift stage on the back of a flatbed truck, fans waited as long as three hours for the team to arrive on their chartered flight. Several players videotaped and photographed the fans, who cheered and photographed back.
“It never gets old,” said Teresa Rehfeld, a 44-year-old receptionist, of winning NBA titles.
Her boss — a die-hard fan of the Dallas Mavericks, an early favorite bounced in the first round of the playoffs by Golden State — was a good sport and gave her the day off to attend the Spurs celebration, she said.
She arrived on one of the first busses to the rally, sweating for hours in her Spurs T-shirt awaiting the team’s arrival from Cleveland after their 4-0 sweep of the Cavaliers.
“Our guys were just there, and they do it consistently,” Rehfeld said of the relatively easy road to the championship.
In a city where attempts at getting NFL or Major League Baseball teams have failed, the Spurs are the team sports fans rally around.