Title-winning Spurs icons share wholesome memories of defying all odds

Avery Johnson and Speedy Claxton shared special memories of their time winning championships with the San Antonio Spurs.
Avery Johnson
Avery Johnson / Focus On Sport/GettyImages

The NBA Finals are a special time of the year. The two weeks of (hopefully) high-intensity, high-stakes basketball is a vehicle for memorable moments and jaw-dropping highlights. San Antonio Spurs fans are fortunate to have many memories of exciting finals appearances encapsulated in the annals of history, thanks to the dominance of Tim Duncan. But the fans aren't the only ones with fond memories resurfacing due to the time of year.

While Avery Johnson, the class act that he is, won't name any names, history has that accounted for. A simple Google search of the comments will reveal the name of the Portland point guard in question: Damon Stoudamire. The 5'10 point guard, affectionately known as the Little General, averaged 13 points, eight assists and one steal per game during the Trail Blazers sweep, while only turning the ball over a grand total of eight times.

Johnson was never known for being an explosive scorer, but he was an aggressive, feisty defender and his leadership intangibles were off the charts. The Little General spent time with San Antonio from 1994–2001, with an extra stint on the team between 1991-1992. He was alongside David Robinson for many years and it was just as nice to see him get a ring with the Spurs as it was to ensure The Admiral, himself, finished his career as a champion.

Spurs point guards are reflecting during the NBA Finals

Speedy Claxton played in the NBA for 10 years but missed three due to injury. He was a perennial backup for most of his career but was a valuable contributor to many teams, including San Antonio, despite only being there for one season, playing 30 games during the regular season.

During the 2003 NBA Finals, Speedy averaged 6 points and almost two assists in 13 minutes per game. He didn't take many shots, but his efficiency was the most impressive part of his performance when looking at the numbers. Claxton didn't miss a shot until game four of the series versus the New Jersey Nets, and even in that game, he was 50% from the field.

In their five NBA Finals victories, the Spurs have only been pushed to a Game 7 once. This series was not one of those times, and Claxton was a part of that triumph. Good memories.