Spurs Fans Pack Open Scrimmage
By: Lorne Chan Spurs.com
Spurs fans packed the AT&T Center on Tuesday to cheer on favorites in Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker, get their first in-person glimpse at Pau Gasol and David Lee in Silver & Black, and see a guaranteed Spurs win.
Well, sort of.
It was the Spurs’ open scrimmage, as the Silver Team beat the Black Team 70-68. The score won’t go in any record book, but plenty of memories and selfies were recorded.
The official crowd for Tuesday’s scrimmage: 12,800.
Some fans arrived as early as 1 p.m., six hours before the scrimmage tip off. When the AT&T Center doors opened, they raced down to snag courtside seats to see Ginobili, Green & Co. up close.
“It’s great that the place is packed for an intrasquad scrimmage,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. “Monty Williams was saying that he hasn’t seen that many people at a scrimmage, and he’s been in a few places. The fans are important to us. They love our guys, and the guys know what their place in the community is. It’s just fun to be here.”
Chris Ramirez arrived at 1 p.m. and said waiting in the sun was worth the return of basketball season. While San Antonio still hit a high of 90 degrees on Tuesday, the hundreds of fans in the early line didn’t mind the wait.
“We tried to get here early to get as close to the experience as we could,” said Ramirez. “There’s no feeling like being at the AT&T Center. It’s something that you always want to experience, and I’ve missed it all summer.”
Marco Yamamoto was celebrating his 34th birthday at the scrimmage. He and his wife Stephanie celebrated at the AT&T Center and he got a handshake and autograph from David Lee as a birthday gift.
“It’s great to be back in the AT&T Center,” Stephanie said. “Nothing brings everybody together like the Spurs do.”
For many fans in attendance, it was their first chance to see the 2016-17 Spurs. For some of the newest Spurs, seeing and hearing the scrimmage crowd was a special moment.
“It was amazing,” rookie forward Davis Bertans said. “I couldn’t believe it when I walked in, it was wild.”