One-on-One with Ron Adams

Throughout the season 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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Chicago Bulls assistant coach Ron Adams spent two seasons with the Spurs as an assistant coach from 1992-94. Over the duration of his career he has been an assistant coach for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Milwaukee Bucks, and the Philadelphia 76ers and served as a player personnel-scout for the Portland Trail Blazers. Adams took some time during shootaround before Chicago’s matchup against the Spurs on March 6 to speak with

On his coaching experience with the Spurs:
“It was a very different time in the NBA from now. The Spurs at that time were more of mom-and-pop team. The program was bare bones as far as the amenities, not like today. We did move in the second year to the Alamodome, which was better. Nice big stadium. The growth of the team is like the growth of the river in town. I was walking out on the Riverwalk and they’ve done a really nice job of the adding a natural habitat back there for the birds and so on. It’s well done. I think the spurs steadily upward climb as a basketball organization can kind of be seen in the way of the development of the river, even in the obscure parts of the river.”

On playing at the HemisFair Arena:
“The HemisFair was crazy. The fans were wild. The lockerroom door was flush with the wall and they had what they called the Baseline Bums. If you were playing poorly, you had to be careful because they would dump beer on you. The crowd was great, you couldn’t hear yourself think. It was a tremendous home court advantage. The Dome was completely different, it was a huge building. We would have some crowds of 30,000-plus. The team played pretty well there.”

On his favorite restaurant when visiting San Antonio:
“Boudro's on the Riverwalk. I grew up on the east coast, so I didn’t know much about guacamole. If there’s ones place where I’m going to eat it, it’s down at Boudro's, where they make it fresh on the table. It’s definitely one of my favorite places.”

On coaching David Robinson:
“David was good already. Tom, (Thibodeau) our head coach and I were both on the staff in San Antonio. I think he (Robinson) got into a good routine offensively and defensively. He was so much more than just a basketball player. He was kind of the foundation stone. The hallmark of the Spurs from that time to now is having good people on the team. You had David, Sean (Elliott), a wonderful guy, and Avery (Johnson). Then this was carried out by Tim (Duncan), he’s a heck of guy. So now you had David and Tim together. Now, having Tim gives you that kind of stability, probably a different kind of leadership than David. We were a very close knit-team. We (Bulls coaches) were just at a restaurant. I was with Tom and I told him, ‘This was the place where we gave Sean his going away party when we traded him.’ That’s highly unusual. Now guys go from team-to-team all the time. If someone on the team had a birthday, we would celebrate by going to that person’s house and most of players would be there with their wives. It was a nice and constructive social setting, which carried over to the basketball floor. David was the catalyst certainly to that.”

On going out to eat in San Antonio:
“We didn’t have much then like you do now. You got pretty good ones now. Funny thing is, we had discount cards to Dick’s Last Resort. So we ate there a lot. Then Sean (Elliot) was the local spokesperson for Taco Cabana, so we had complete discounts there. We had Taco Cabana a lot and had breakfast there. It was a really good food then.”

Coming back to San Antonio:
“It’s a difficult place to play. They’re a superbly coached team. Almost always every year they are put together very well. By that R.C. (Buford) and his staff do a good job of turning over a lot of rocks and taking people ahead of others. Their powers of selection and evaluation are top of the line. They have an ability to take a chance and act before other people who are mulling something over. They know what they want. They know it will fit the climate of the team, the fabricate of the team is already set. They have tremendous shooting on the team, which is terribly important to winning anything. They have defense. I think this year they’ve gotten back to playing a high level of defense which will really be a boost for them in the playoffs. Historically, they’ve been had outstanding defensive teams and efficient offensive teams. Now they’ve become more than efficient offense team and I think their defense is back. I think this year can be their year again.”

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