The San Antonio Spurs make people yawn. I’ve read the reports: when the basketball team plays, most of the nation tunes out. Our city goes whacko, but, to the dismay of television networks, sports fans slide into summer hibernation. They are the winningest pro franchise in the country over the last 15 years, but, for the lack of hype, you’d think they were cellar dwellers of a bowling league.
I think I know why. The Spurs have fostered the rarest of qualities in pro sports: humility. Humility climbed off the plane a couple of decades ago in the form of David Robinson. Bigger markets offered more lights and hype, but David was content with playtime and victories. I’ve called David a friend for most of those years. I’ve seen the rings he won, the honors he’s received, but I’ve never seen a chest bump or a court side strut. I’ve seen David pray often and preach occasionally, but I’ve never seen him swing an elbow or get a coach fired. I’ve heard him brag about his wife, kids and Savior, but I’ve never heard him bemoan his salary or city.
David paved the way for Tim Duncan who quietly goes about the task of winning championships (four and counting) and scoring baskets. Then there are the covey of former Spurs who seem determined to love every kid and visit every school in San Antonio: Sean Elliot, Bruce Bowen, George Gervin. Classy.
I’m not going to overdo this. I’m a pastor, not a sportswriter. But this much needs to be said. Every so often someone does it right. This team did, and does. It’s good to know that humility is alive and well on the basketball court. Even if the rest of the country snoozes.