It looks like Bruce Bowen owes his former teammate a dinner that's 17 years overdue.
In a grueling, seven-game series in which team defense was the star of the show almost every night, being able to knock down 3-pointers was a crucial part of what finally separated the San Antonio Spurs against the Detroit Pistons in 2005. It was a series that frequently saw teams end up with a final score in the 70s -- something unheard of in today's league.
As one of the sharpshooters on the Spurs' championship-winning '05 team, Bowen put his money where his mouth was when Robert Horry challenged him during a classic series against the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Finals. He told the story on an episode of NBA Finals File with co-host Jabari Davis.
"Bruce and I were seatmates on the plane. We would talk about the game, our familes, and whatnot. During that series, I said, 'Bruce, you're knocking that three down from the corners, but you know what? So am I. I guarantee I end up with more threes in the Finals than you.' "
As Horry revealed, the winner was to be treated to dinner by the loser.
While the two valuable role players were neck and neck in the first four games of the series, it was Horry's heroic Game 5 that started to separate him from Bowen in the series. In that pivotal game, Horry knocked down five of his six attempts from downtown, including what I've previously labeled the biggest shot in Spurs' history:
Horry edges out Bowen in made threes
By the end of the NBA Finals, Horry had nailed 15 of his 31 attempts from beyond the arc while Bowen sank 13 of 29. His 15 made threes were the most of anyone in the series, which included five-time NBA All-Star and former Finals MVP, Chauncey Billups.
"Where did Bruce take you to dinner?" asked Horry's co-host. "Bruce still owes me dinner, man. We hadn't had a chance to go to dinner yet. Bruce has never paid up on that bet."
Horry stuck around San Antonio for three more seasons and won another title with them until a bitter end to his career seemed to sour him on the franchise for years. Meanwhile, Bowen remained with the Spurs until 2009 and retired with three championships in the Alamo City and a jersey in the rafters.