Los Spurs Night Takes Special Significance
By: Lorne Chan Spurs.com
Artist Rigoberto Luna is second-generation San Antonian who has watched many Spurs games with his whole family crowding around a TV.
As Manu Ginobili drives for another layup, his mother and grandmother will mention how much passion Manu brings to his job, how close he is with his family, and, of course, how he still speaks Spanish whenever possible.
“It always ends with ‘you should be more like Manu,’” Luna jokes. “You have no idea how many times my mom and grandmother tell me that. He really has become a role model for Latinos in the city.”
With Los Spurs night on Friday at the AT&T Center when the Spurs take on the Denver Nuggets, the NBA will celebrate the support of NBA fans and players in Latin American and U.S. Hispanic communities.
It’s the ninth season that the NBA has held Latin Nights.
In addition to wearing “Los Spurs” jerseys, all-female mariachi group Mariachi Mujer Internacional De Los Spurs will perform and 13-year-old mariachi singer Sebastien De La Cruz will announce player introductions. There also will be a halftime and postgame performance by Lush, whose Grammy-nominated lead singer Stefani Montiel is the mother of Silver Dancer Ileah Zavala.
In San Antonio, a city that’s 60 percent Hispanic, local fans said they appreciate being recognized.
“It’s a simple gesture adding ‘Los’ to the jersey, but it does make you feel appreciated,” said Brenda Munoz, who runs the popular Twitter handle @PuroSanAntonio. “Our city’s culture is so tied in to the Spurs, and the Spurs are a team that I’ve always felt embraces and recognizes Hispanic culture.”
When Spurs games are on, Munoz’s Twitter account becomes devoted to all things Silver and Black.
Luna curated an art show in November called “Go Spurs Show,” where 25 local artists, a majority of them Hispanic, created works inspired by their home team.
The show was so popular that it ran for an extra month at Studio One Zero Three.
“I think loyalty is seen as such an important quality in Latin American or Hispanic cultures, and you see that in the way Hispanic Spurs fans cheer their team,” said Paul Castro, who is in his 21st season as the Spanish voice of the Spurs. “You can see the global reach of the NBA not just with the Spurs roster, but with their fans.”