We’re staying one block from the Alamo. I didn’t make it over there Monday.
I love the Alamo. Love the history and the reverence and the story. I think it’s one of the coolest things about San Antonio. Or any other city. The Alamo is San Antone’s Liberty Bell. San Antone’s Old North Church.
I need to get over there. But our days are packed. And getting to practice is not easy in San Antonio.
Traffic is fine. This isn’t Los Angeles. But the Thunder is practicing out at Texas Military Institute’s campus in far north San Antonio. Takes about 30 minutes to get out there. Thirty minutes there, 30 minutes back, about an hour while we’re there.
The Texas Military Institute is a cool campus in what appears to be the start of the Texas Hill Country. The gym is nothing special but is about eight tiers above the Beverly Hills Community Center, where the Thunder worked out during the Clipper series.
Game-day shootarounds at this round are a zoo. Dozens of media – ESPN, TNT, lots of national outlets, lots of San Antonio press, etc. – attend and crowd around the Thunder players and Scotty Brooks who talk. It’s a mess, but you have to participate, just in case someone says something interesting.
The Thunder uses Texas Military Institute because it’s convenient to its team hotel, which also is up in north San Antonio. The institute actually is an Episcopal private school. Students, looked to be young teens, lined up outside and watched the Thunder depart. They seemed to realize who the Thunder was. Unlike the good folks back in Beverly Hills.
FIX IS IN
We got a good lesson in non-passionate NBA fandom over lunch Monday. We were dining at the Josephine Street Café, which used to be known as the Josephine Street Bar & Grill, hard on the eastern edge of downtown San Antonio.
RFD asked one of our waitresses, a girl in her 20s, her thoughts on the Thunder-Spurs series.
She said she’d take the Spurs. But it will go seven games, she said, because it’s fixed. They want all the money they can get.
Is that how many people really think? Is that what people really believe?
I’m not naïve enough to think that a sporting event can’t be fixed. Some renegade ref, or some low-level player, could try to soil the outcome of a game. But it’s not coming from the top. Not coming from the league or a franchise or a prominent player. Like I’ve said a dozen times on this blog, the monetary rewards don’t match the risk. There already is big money in the NBA.
The Josephine Street Café is one of my favorite restaurants on the NBA circuit. An old saloon type place, with a huge tree trunk growing up from the ground and through the roof. Great desserts – cobbler or pie, with ice cream – and a great menu. I had the beef tenderloin salad, which is chunks of filet mignon with tomatoes and avocado and a great vinaigrette salad. Just superb. I wouldn’t mind going back.
The Spurs have a great game-night atmosphere at AT&T Center. Great game presentation. Great fans. The Grizzlies crowd was a little crude. The Clipper crowd was in la-la land. In San Antonio, none of that. Just a bunch of passionate fans who love their team. Very similar to Oklahoma City, other than the Spurs are mostly city-centered, while the Thunder has a state following.
But the Spurs have a great organization and a great product. If the Thunder can’t win the NBA title, I hope the Spurs do.