Sunday , Jun , 26 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Spurs celebrate third title in seven years

San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) – The San Antonio Spurs and their fans
celebrated the team’s third NBA championship Saturday with a river parade and
a party in the Alamodome.

San Antonio downed the defending champion Detroit Pistons in seven games to
claim this year’s title, winning 81-74 at home in Thursday’s Game 7. The Spurs
also claimed the NBA crown in 1999 and 2003.

The parade took place Saturday evening as the team floated in barges in the
San Antonio River. An estimated 350,000 people crowded the city’s famed
River Walk to watch the procession.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you. You really don’t know how great you are,”
said the Spurs’ Manu Ginobili from his barge.

NBA Finals MVP Tim Duncan told the crowd, “You gave us the home-court
advantage we needed. You took us all the way to the top.”

Spurs point guard Tony Parker rode through the River Walk with his girlfriend
and Texas native, Eva Longoria, an actress who stars in the hit series,
“Desperate Housewives.”

From there, the celebration moved into the Alamodome, the team’s former
home, where 60,000 fans gathered. The festivities were led by San Antonio
guard Bruce Bowen, who was responsible for all of the player introductions.

Ginobili, who led Argentina to an Olympic gold medal last year, received a
loud ovation after speaking in Spanish, while Parker drew another rise out of
the crowd by rapping in French.