Yahoo! The Spurs Are in Town!
Written by IndyHoya
AREA 55 NEWS YOU CAN TAKE TO THE BANK!!!
Salutations, long-suffering ones!* Here it comes again.* Our beloved Pacers are back in town. And, as usual, they come in on a bit of a downer, this time on the heels off a tough road loss to our despised former arch-rivals, the New York Knicks. But lift your hearts aficionados.* I’ve got a feeling that, just maybe, tonight’s game might be a win.
But it won’t be easy!
Our foes tonight are those fun-loving, basketball-playing, cow-punching galoots from Texas, the San Antonio Spurs, who are up north on a cattle drive, pushing their herd into Conseco.
Why do I have a good feeling about tonight?* Well, for starters, I’m an Area 55 member and that makes me crazy just to begin with. But as I sit here writing this, I’m crazier than usual.* See, in honor of the Spurs arrival, I’ve been chewing on locoweed (Datura stramonium, to you herbalists) for the past 24 hours.* The weed’s hallucinatory effects now have a strong grip on me. The screen I’m typing this on now, for some reason, sort of now looks like a multi-colored, moving psychedelic image of NBA Commissioner David Stern.
I’ve taken the added measure of spiking the Gatorade that the Spurs will be imbibing tonight with this same potent psychotropic. It’s taste isn’t exactly undetectable, however, so I’m not sure this additive will be 100% effective in altering the Spurs’ images of basketball reality.* It’s been tried on the Spurs before.* See the appended video:
But hallucinations aside, I have more rational reasons for anticipating a win.* Our boys, the Pacers, traditionally rise to challenges.* Especially so, at home.* And the Spurs, for some reason, have dropped two successive road games.* First to the Knicks, and more recently to the Celtics.
Thus, for all of the above reasons, the prospect of a big win tonight against the vaunted Spurs is cheering the frayed synapses of my fevered brain.* It might just be the drug, but for some strange reason I think we’re going to get a marquee win tonight.* I also think I see Pacers coach, Jim O’Brien, over there mounted on a mustang!* Yeah!* He’s right over there! On that mesa – together with his friends, Hoss, Ben and Little Joe Cartwright!
PTO Doings The Pacers Tailgating Organization was at its inept best in the three-hour preliminaries preceding our New Year’s Eve win against the Wizards.* Inebriation was the theme and virtually all of the PTO regulars and some newbies put in appearances in the Anthem parking lot to tune up and strategize before the game.
As usual, there was no grill.* PTO GM/VP and only grill-owner, Casey O’Brien, was arrested for reckless driving on his way to the PTO and heat for all the brats was therefore unavailable. O’Brien (who may or may not be Pacers Coach, Jim O’Brien’s love-child – the DNA test results have never been made public) called the Anthem lot telephonically from the City lock-up to apologize. However, the bratwurst-starved attendees were in a surly mood and, with all the Jagermeister and Red Bull that had been consumed, few were inclined to be forgiving. Things got uglier when* PTO President, Aaron Coleman, attempted vainly to distract the hungry crowd and get its mind off raw brats with his lame imitation of an Aussie Grand Prix driver. Luckily, El Pacero’s pyrotechnics and Big Jon Bennett’s tales of his professional wrestling encounters kept the mob regaled enough to avoid serious harm being done to PTO management.* Anyway, the PTO’s brass, Coleman and O’Brien, have promised to bring the grill to this evening’s saturnalia.
For all its missing grill problems and bratwurst uncertainties, the PTO is usually a pretty good time.* For those of you who haven’t attended one, I can only say you oughta.* It’s sort of like a toga party without togas.
HEY!* LET’S LOOK AT SOME SPURS FUN FACTS!
How Did the Spurs Get to Be Spurs? The San Antonio Spurs started out as the*Dallas Chaparrals and original members of the ABA back in 1967.* What the hell are “Chaparrals”, you ask?* Well, this Newsletter is about to give you the full poop:
“The chaparral*is a*shrubland or*heathland plant community found primarily in the U.S. state of*California and in the northern portion of the*Baja California peninsula,*Mexico.* It is also found in Texas, where it is commonly known as the ‘creosote bush’.”
Here’s a pic for you shrub-lovers:
From these bushy beginnings, the Dallas Chaparrals gradually evolved into the Spurs. Led by their player-coach*Cliff Hagan, the Dallas Chaps were one of 11 teams to take the floor in the inaugural season of the upstart ABA. Unfortunately, the team suffered from poor attendance and general disinterest in Dallas. In fact, during the*1970–71 season, the name “Dallas” was dropped altogether in favor of the “Texas Chapparals” in an attempt to make the team less municipal and more regional. The “Texas” Chaparrals then began playing games in*other basketball hotbeds like Fort Worth and Lubbock in addition to Dallas. Sadly, this didn’t serve to gin up much fan interest in the team either and the Chaps gave up regionalization and returned full-time to Dallas for its*1971–72 season.* In the*1972–73 season, the Chaps were put up for sale and eventually acquired by a group of 36 San Antonio business men, who relocated the team to San Antonio and renamed it the “San Antonio Gunslingers.” However, this name was too violent (See our last Newsletter and our history of the Baltimore “Bullets”), even for Texas, and before the Gunslingers even played a game their name was changed again to the “Spurs.”* David Stern, had he been around at the time, would certainly have strongly approved.
For the record, the Spurs are one of only four former*American Basketball Association teams still remaining intact in the NBA after the ABA-NBA merger occurred in 1967.* Can you name the others?* Duh.* Yeah, our Pacers are one.* The Nuggets and the Nets are the other two.* Of these, the Spurs are the only ones to win an NBA title.* Actually, they’ve won four of ‘em — *more than any NBA franchise except the*Boston Celtics,*Los Angeles Lakers, and*Chicago Bulls. The Spurs indeed have a great NBA record. In their 33 NBA seasons, since the ABA/NBA merger, they’ve captured 17 division titles — the most division titles of any team in the NBA during that 33-year span (the Lakers are second with 16). They have made the playoffs in 19 of the last 20 seasons, and they haven’t missed the playoffs in the 12 seasons since*their star, Tim Duncan,*joined the Spurs in 1997.
What’s the Biggest Show in San Antonio? Well It Ain’t the Spurs! In February of each season, the Spurs are forced to take an extended road-trip due to the occupation of their venue, the AT&T Arena, by the*San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. This is informally known to Spurs fans as the “Rodeo Road Trip.”* It hasn’t been all that bad for the Spurs, though.* Since 1999, they have consistently posted winning road records during this period, including an NBA-record longest*single road trip*winning streak (8 games, achieved in 2003).* Maybe we oughta bring a show like that to Conseco!
Let’s Examine Eva Longoria! Spurs guard, Tony Parker is married to actress Eva Longoria – an eye-grabbing cutie best known for her role in the TV series “Desperate Housewives.”* Tony met Eva (who is seven years his senior) in November 2004 and in 2006 they became engaged. Eva, a Texas native from nearby Corpus Christi, then became a courtside regular at all the Spurs home games. Tony liked the way things were going.* During the 2007 NBA All-Star Game he was quoted as saying “Eva is doing everything, I’m just going to show up and say yes.”* He had reason to be enthusiastic. Eva took young, naïve Tony under her wing and taught him a little about the birds and the bees.* Tony, apparently, wasn’t exactly a bedroom buckaroo. As Eva put it:
“I’m the experienced one. I’m the teacher, especially about love… He’s only been with one other person in his life.”
The happy couple were then officially married in a civil ceremony on July 6, 2007, which was held at the Paris city hall. (That’s Paris, France you idiot.* Not Paris, Texas.* Tony is a Frenchie and plays on the Frog national team). That was followed by a full Roman Catholic wedding ceremony at the Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois Church in Paris on July 7, 2007.
Alas! These holy bonds were not meant to last. All that bedroom instruction Eva imparted to Tony created a monster and led to big problems. On November 17, 2010, Eva filed for divorce in Los Angeles, citing “irreconcilable differences” and seeking “spousal support.” The couple had a prenuptial agreement that was signed in June 2007, the month before their wedding, and that was amended two years later in June 2009.
What went wrong?* Friends can only shake their heads.
Eva told her friend, Mario Lopez, the host of Extra, that she discovered hundreds of text messages from another woman on Tony’s phone. Extra later identified the other woman as Erin Barry, the wife of Brent Barry, Parker’s former teammate.* The Barrys, at the time, were in the midst of a divorce. Extra also reported that Eva believed Tony had cheated on her even earlier in the marriage with yet another woman, with whom he had kept in touch via Facebook. *As Extra put it, “Eva wants everyone to know, she’s devastated by the rumors of Tony’s infidelity. She loved her husband and is heartbroken about their split… But she’s strong.”
Good for you Eva!* Area 55 can relate to strong women!
Anyway, ignoring the fact that Eva had already filed for divorce in L.A. two days earlier, Tony, not to be outdone, filed a divorce proceeding of his own against Eva in San Antonio on November 19, 2010 citing, as grounds, “discord or conflict of personalities.”
The duplicate divorce filings have now started a legal battle over where their divorce case will actually be heard. Unlike Eva’s petition, Tony’s does not mention anything about any prenuptial agreement and claims that the parties “will enter into an agreement for the division of their estate”.* We’ll see!* The Area 55 Newsletter promises here that it will provide its jaded readers with updates on the chosen venue and other developments in the proceedings the very next time that San Antonio hits town!* So stay tuned!
Meanwhile, here are some of the hot photos of Eva that I’m sure that most of you lusty voyeurs really have been waiting for:
Eva and Tony in Happier Times:* http://tinyurl.com/27uutxt
Here’s Eva – A Happy Basketball Wife!* http://tinyurl.com/36gcpmb
Another eye-full of Eva:** http://tinyurl.com/36wuhfo
The Sure Hands of Manu Ginobli! On Halloween Night, October 31, 2009, in a game against the*Sacramento Kings, a bat descended onto the court at the*AT&T Center, where the Spurs and the Kings were playing. The bat’s cavorting made for a stoppage of play, much to the annoyance of both fans and players. Taking action, as the bat flew past, Ginóbili amazingly swatted it to the ground with his hand and then carried it off the court, earning intense applause from the crowd.
Manu tweeted thusly to his admirers after the game:
“Just wanted to give you guys an update on the bat situation. As many of you already know, it wasn’t a great idea. Not only for the fact that bats are a great part of the ecosystem, but also, because some carry rabies, which is an incurable disease. That’s why I had to get vaccinated today [and it wasn't just one shot!].”
“Finally, please, don’t do it at home or anywhere, avoid contact with bats, skunks, raccoons, rats and animals like that.”
Thank you, Manu!* You can bet that we 55ers will take your sage advice to heart!
Here’s Manu in action against the bat:* http://tinyurl.com/y9ab2le
Someone Has a Vendetta against Tim Duncan! NBA ref Joey Crawford has a reputation for a quick whistle.* And he has no love for Tim Duncan.
On April 15, 2007, Joey ejected*Tim from a game for “laughing” while Tim was sitting in his seat on the Spurs bench.* It was Tim’s second technical in a game and the Spurs were playing their archrivals, the Dallas Mavericks, at the time.* The ejection meant outsville for Tim and, with their best player gone, the Spurs went on to lose the game. According to Tim, after Joey gave him his first technical — awarded for griping about one of Joey’s calls — Joey asked Tim if he “wanted to fight.” After the game, Joey told a pool of reporters that Tim deserved the ejection because he had been complaining the entire contest.
Here’s the video of Joey’s righteous ejection of “Laughing Boy”:
The ejection provoked a complaint to the NBA League Office from the Spurs.* Two days later, NBA Commish, David Stern, sprang into action.* First, he suspended Crawford for the remainder of the*2006-07 NBA season,*as well as the*2007 Playoffs. This ended 21 consecutive NBA Finals refereeing appearances for Joey. *Second, the league fined Tim $25,000 for “verbal abuse of an official.” The League also warned Tim that a repeat incident in the future would result in an automatic ejection.*As a result, Tim is now, apparently, restrained, by NBA, fiat from chuckling while sitting on the Spurs bench.
As for his action against Joey, Stern’s comment at the time was that Joey’s actions “failed to meet the standards of professionalism and game management we expect of NBA referees.”
Joey later met with League official Stu Jackson on July 30, 2007, the NBA suit in charge of refereeing, to discuss his future in the NBA.* No resolution was reached.*Joey was reportedly unrepentant in his conversations with Jackson:
“I told him I would throw Duncan out again if he did what he did,” Crawford said in an e-mail, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News. “So if my employer does not think that was acceptable, then I have a problem.”
On September 17, 2007, the NBA announced Joey’s reinstatement. The Commish explained the reinstatement this way:
“Based on my meeting with Joey Crawford, his commitment to an ongoing counseling program and a favorable professional evaluation that was performed at my direction, I am satisfied that Joey understands the standards of game management and professionalism the NBA expects from him and that he will be able to conduct himself in accordance with those standards.”
Stern said the league would have more discussions with Crawford “to be sure he understands his responsibilities.”
Tim, who had 16 points and seven rebounds in the game before he was ejected, said Crawford has a “personal vendetta” against him.
“He looked at me and said, `Do you want to fight? Do you want to fight?”’ said Duncan, a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player.
I have a theory about Time’s ejection. Joey was among certain NBA referees previously charged with federal tax violations in an airline-ticket scam. He pleaded guilty in 1998 to not reporting to the IRS income he gained after downgrading league-provided first-class airline tickets to coach and then pocketing the difference. He was sentenced to six months of home confinement and resigned from the NBA. However, the league reinstated him at the start of the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season.
It is probably just me speculating, but this Fun Fact was probably the cause of the quick whistle on Duncan.* I suspect Joey is probably just a very sensitive guy every year when April 15 approaches.
Well, that’s enough jocularity, mammalian avionics, and Hollywood mammaries for this session 55ers. *Let’s be our usual loud and obnoxious selves tonight for San Antonio.* If my hallucinatory rantings are on target, we might just get a rare home win!
Go Pacers!* Go Area 55!
Joe Murphy – IndyHoya