take NBA championship victory lap on San Antonio waterway
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[June 19, 2014]
By Jim Forsyth
SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - A crowd estimated
at more than 100,000 people lined San Antonio's River Walk to cheer from
balconies, blow horns and chant "Go Spurs go" on Wednesday to celebrate
the team's National Basketball Association championship.
San Antonio Spurs players floated on barges along the city's
downtown waterway, which is lined with shops and restaurants and on
Wednesday was packed with fans wearing the team's silver and black
"This is awesome," said Jason Menendez, dressed from head to toe in
The Spurs delivered a decisive end to the Miami Heat's two-year
reign atop the basketball world by routing LeBron James and his
teammates on Sunday in San Antonio to win the NBA Finals four games
to one. It was the Spurs' fifth championship in 15 years.
It was also the fifth championship party in San Antonio for the
Spurs' laconic head coach Gregg Popovich, who said the parade is
"hot and sweaty but a lot of fun for the whole city."
"It's the culmination of what we have tried to do and what the city
has hoped for," Popovich said before the parade.
Two dozen barges decorated in silver and black carried the players,
their families, coaches, team executives, city officials and the
championship trophy past screaming fans.
"The French connection,"
Spurs guard Tony Parker bellowed to the crowd from the barge he was
riding with his fellow veteran of the French basketball league,
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Several companies closed early to let employees attend the parade,
which received global attention due to the international make-up of
the Spurs, who have eight players on their current roster born
outside of the United States.
"I want to do it again next year," player Danny Green told the
(Additional reporting by Lisa Maria Garza; Writing by Jon
Herskovitz; Editing by Bill Trott)
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