Two legends familiar with the NBA Finals, Manu Ginobili and Pau Gasol, represented the San Antonio Spurs as virtual fans for Game One.
Being part of the San Antonio Spurs organization since the turn of the millennium made legendary shooting guard Manu Ginobili rather accustomed to the NBA Finals. Though he didn’t reach those heights in silver and black, the same can be said of Spanish sensation Pau Gasol — A former Spur himself. The pair was front and center for Game One of the 2020 NBA Finals; but not in the traditional sense.
Since the NBA is closed off in the Orlando bubble, VIPs showed up to the first game of the NBA Finals and sat in a specific section packed with legends. Amongst them were Gasol and Ginobili, two former San Antonio Spurs players who built their legacies in the NBA Finals. It was refreshing to see all of these familiar faces, but of course, Manu was the most exciting for San Antonio Spurs fans.
Ginobili is a decorated NBA star whose path to the Hall of Fame is clear as day. The four-time champion left his mark on NBA history with two All-NBA and All-Star appearances in addition to an All-Rookie Team spot and the 2008 Sixth Man of the Year Award. If not for his efforts, the Spurs probably wouldn’t have won in 2005 or 2007 with a strong chance they wouldn’t have made it in 2013 and 2014.
Meanwhile, Gasol won his two NBA titles with his close friend, Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009 and 2010. If not for his efforts, the Lakers wouldn’t have made it or come close to winning either of those championships.
— NBA Bubble Life (@NBABubbleLife) October 1, 2020
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Amongst the crowd was a whole crop of NBA legends including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dirk Nowitzki, Shaquille O’Neal and Dwyane Wade. A player who left his mark on Spurs history, forward Robert Horry was amongst those in attendance as well.
Beyond the players, one prominent figure front and center at the NBA Finals is former United States President Barack Obama. A distinguished figure beloved in the NBA community, Obama is an avid fan of playing and watching basketball. Having spent influential years of his life in Chicago, Obama is an avid Chicago Bulls fan whose knowledge of the game runs deep.
Needless to say, the stars were out for Game One of an NBA Finals experience that none of us will soon forget. The game itself was a bit underwhelming with Miami Heat players suffering numerous injuries throughout the competition, but the grandeur of it all remains alluring. In a time of such great uncertainty with the world around us changing each day, the excellent associated with the NBA Finals keeps us glued to our screens as basketball fans.
The time of the San Antonio Spurs is no longer, but don’t worry! A new era is dawning on us shortly and when it comes, we won’t be surprised to hear the San Antonio Spurs are heading back to the NBA Finals. However, it’s going to take a long while and plenty of work to achieve that goal.
For now, sit back and appreciate all that the NBA Finals have to offer us as basketball fans.