Sean Elliott’s “Memorial Day Miracle” came in the 1999 Western Conference finals, as his barely inbounds 3-pointer helped the Spurs on the march to their first NBA Championship.
In the Alamodome that day, a man who had already won a world championship belt was cheering on the Spurs’ show-stopping moment.
Shawn Michaels, a WWE Hall of Fame wrestler, has long been a fan of the Silver & Black. A San Antonio resident, he’s attended games since the late 1970s, and had season tickets for the Spurs’ first title season in 1998-99.
Michaels helped Spurs Sports & Entertainment out on Sunday, when he whipped the AT&T Center crowd into a frenzy with a promo video. That’s something he’s done many times before in a 25-year wrestling career.
“I remember going to Spurs games when George Gervin and James Silas were the guys,” Michaels said. “I may have been on the road for 300 days a year when I was wrestling, but I always kept my home and my heart with San Antonio and the Spurs.”
Michaels said he always made sure to follow the Spurs when he was wrestling, and even now as he’s promoting his autobiography “Wrestling For My Life” or shooting his hunting show, “Shawn Michaels’ MRA” on the Outdoor Channel.
“The Heartbreak Kid” even recently professed his love for the Spurs…when he was giving an interview with Suns.com.
“When I was off from wrestling (after a back injury in 1998), one of the first things I did was get season tickets,” Michaels said. “That was phenomenal for me. I’ve gotten to see this run from the beginning, and I’ve really loved getting to experience Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.”
Michaels’ favorite Spur is coach Gregg Popovich. He even said Popovich might make for a decent wrestling personality based on his microphone skills.
“To me, there’s only one guy who needs to speak for the Spurs, and that’s Pop,” Michaels said. “He’s the single greatest interview on the face of the earth, and nobody symbolizes the Spurs and captures them better than Coach Pop.
“You either do it his way or you don’t play, and believe it or not, my boss for so many years (WWE owner) Vince McMahon was sort of the same way. He wanted things done a certain way and that was that. I’ve been an athlete my entire life, and having a great coach is key.”
The WWE may not seem like a team sport, but professional wrestlers are all essentially teammates who entrust each other with their limbs and lives.
Matches are always better when wrestlers make each other look better with good communication and timing.
Teamwork, Michaels said, is one of his favorite things about watching the Spurs play.
“As thrilled as I am about the fact that they’ve won championships, it’s the way that they do it,” Michaels said. “I’m more proud of the fact that the Spurs are guys with great moral character, which is a great thing and a rare thing in this day and age.”