‘Gold standard’: Popovich, Parker and Hammon brought lifetime of memories for Spurs fans

Spurs fans ready for historic Hall of Fame weekend

SAN ANTONIO – Spurs fans will be tuned in for a historic weekend as three members of the organization are about to go to the Naismith Pro Basketball Hall of Fame.

Head coach Gregg Popovich, point guard Tony Parker and former Spurs assistant and WNBA star Becky Hammon will be enshrined on Saturday evening.

It’s a moment many Spurs fans have been looking forward to as the culmination of the Spurs dynasty from the late 90s and 2000s.

“San Antonio players are getting their just desserts. They built that dynasty that Coach Pop started,” said Spurs fan Justin Gallegos.

“Those guys really put in the work and dedication, not just into basketball, but into the city itself,” said Spurs fan Aaron Gonzales.

“The Spurs are the gold standard for the NBA in terms of franchises and it doesn’t matter if it’s small market like San Antonio or L.A. They’ve done it right all these years,” said Jenny Carnes, San Antonio Sports president and CEO.

Popovich will enter the hall of fame as the NBA’s all-time winningest head coach.

“Popovich is a one-of-a-kind coach. I don’t think we’re ever going to see a coach of his pedigree again,” said Gonzales.

“He’s just done amazing things for this city, not only the franchise, winning championships and doing it in the right way,” said Carnes. “You hear about all these stories and things he does within the community quietly. We know Pop cares about this community and having his roots here in San Antonio.”

Parker will be the last of the Spurs’ famed “Big Three” to enter the hall of fame, joining Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.

“Parker, what can we say. He was so fast with the ball and controlled everything,” said Gallegos.

Hammon is entering the hall of fame for her accolades as a WNBA player, including her time with the San Antonio Stars. But she is a pioneer and trailblazer for women’s sports.

“As a woman coming from a sports background, I could not be more proud of Becky and all she has accomplished,” said Carnes. “She had an incredible run in San Antonio. We were so close to winning a championship back in like 08-09. And then to watch her break that glass ceiling, getting into the NBA on the coaching side as the first female.”

Current Spurs point guard Tre Jones said the franchise’s history and culture make him proud to wear the jersey and play for Popovich.

“He really cares for both his players, his staff, all the families around off the court as well,” said Jones. “He really treats everybody like family. You build that relationship with him and he’s always going to reach out and congratulate you on different things or ask how things are going.”

Jones also played for Hammon when he entered the NBA and knows the impact she has had on basketball.

“I have two-and-a-half-year-old daughter and that’s someone she’ll be able to look up to one day and just know she was breaking barriers,” said Jones. “Just knowing we have that connection and she’s someone who had this courage.”

The weekend is a celebration for a trio of hall of famers who brought championships and a lifetime of memories to San Antonio.

“To be able to watch Tony do that with Tim and Manu, and watching those championships, they’re all so deserving of being in the hall of fame,” said Carnes. “It just sets the tone for the next generation and the future of Spurs Sports and Entertainment and what we will see with our next team. The timing of it could not be better.”

About the Authors

RJ Marquez is the traffic anchor/reporter for KSAT’s Good Morning San Antonio. He also fills in as a news anchor and has covered stories from breaking news and Fiesta to Spurs championships and high school sports. RJ started at KSAT in 2010. He is proud to serve our viewers and be a part of the culture and community that makes San Antonio great.

Adam Barraza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12 and an El Paso native. He interned at KVIA, the local ABC affiliate, while still in high school. He then moved to San Antonio and, after earning a degree from San Antonio College and the University of the Incarnate Word, started working in news. He’s also a diehard Dodgers fan and an avid sneakerhead.

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