One-on-One with Marc Iavaroni

Marc Iavaroni
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty

Throughout the season spurs.com will celebrate the Spurs 40th Anniversary by visiting with former players, coaches and front office staff to discuss their experiences with the organization and the city of San Antonio.
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Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach Marc Iavaroni spent two seasons with the Spurs from 1984-86. He appeared in 99 games and averaged 5.8 points and 4.1 rebounds in 18.6 minutes. Iavaroni took some time during shootaround before Los Angeles’ matchup against the Spurs on Nov. 19 to speak with spurs.com.

On his playing experience with the Spurs:
“My first year here I had a really good time. I played on a team that was the last year for George Gervin. He was traded the next year with John Paxon in the famous trade to Chicago. I just remember the guys being very warm and tight knit with Artis Gilmore, Mike Mitchell, “Ice” (Gervin), Johnny Moore and Gene Banks. Gosh, I wish I could name them all. Everyone was very congenial and really wanted to help each other become a good team. I got traded here in the middle of the season for the first time in my career; it was tough. They made it very warm. I had Cotton Fitzsimmons, who was a very good coach, and he drove me to continue to get better in my third year.” 

On playing at the HemisFair Arena:
“It was a lot fun. It was very ruckus. The fans were always overhanging the visitor locker room. It’s where my wife flew to meet me, my future wife then. I meet her in Philadelphia and she got a plane unbeknownst to me. I was getting ready to sit down after the national anthem, we were playing the Celtics, and she walks behind the bench. I went ‘Oh my god’, totally out of context. She was supposed to be in Philly going to school and the rest is history. So I remember that the most about the HemisFair Arena.”

On his favorite places in San Antonio:
“I always went to Paesano’s for the Shrimp Paesano. I just remember enjoying the people. They were very warm and friendly to me in San Antonio and the fans, too. We worked hard and as long as you worked hard, they always supported you. Just good Texas hospitality.”

On his memories of San Antonio:
“I just remember hanging out with the guys on the team and being totally into it. I loved NBA basketball and I loved playing in San Antonio. I loved all the sights, the Alamo obviously, and just being down here when I was young fellow.”