San Antonio came together this morning to celebrate the life of B.J. "Red" McCombs, an iconic businessman who purchased the Spurs and brought them to San Antonio in 1973. McCombs passed away on February 19, and a flock of friends, family, and locals showed up to pay their respects at his public funeral service at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.
The former Spurs owner was famous for donning a trademark cowboy hat and even more well-known for his philanthropy, leaving a lasting influence on several institutions and industries. As such, it was no surprise to watch a wide-ranging cast of characters, including Head Coach Gregg Popovich, Avery Johnson, and News 4 Sports Anchor Don Harris, take the podium to share stories about McCombs.
The Spurs are synonymous with the city they call home. It has been that way for decades. But there would be no championship banners or jerseys hanging in the rafters if not for Red McCombs taking a gigantic gamble to bring professional basketball to Alamo City. McCombs paved a foundation for success, and Spurs fans will remember him fondly.
Although the Silver and Black are mourning the loss of their former owner, they are also enduring the disappointment of losing their 16th consecutive game, the longest such streak in franchise history.
Their latest defeat came on Saturday at the hands of the Utah Jazz in an all-too-familiar second-half implosion that saw a 14-point lead become a double-digit deficit by the final buzzer. No one on the roster was pleased with the results, especially Jeremy Sochan.
"Nobody in the locker room likes to lose,” the rookie forward said. “So of course, it’s very frustrating.”
Fellow frontcourt enforcer Zach Collins also expressed a similar sentiment in his postgame press conference following the contest.
“It’s frustrating, man,” Collins said. “We’re tired of losing.”
Gregg Popovich has been patient with the youngsters during the first season of their comprehensive rebuild, but the 74-year-old playcaller was more straightforward with his assessment.
"We just don’t have it for 48 minutes,” Popovich said. “I think I can finally say that at this point of the season."
Despite all these losses potentially increasing their odds of landing Victor Wembanyama at the 2023 NBA Draft, the Spurs are long overdue to pick up a dub. San Antonio is firmly rooted in the top three of the lottery, and a victory could go a long way toward lifting the locker room morale over the last leg of the season.