The First “Game Seven”
The Texas Story Project.
The 2004-2005 NBA season was historic for the city of San Antonio. It had been two years since the hometown team, the Spurs, had won their second championship and both the talented Spurs roster and the fans were hungry for a third.
The team looked to be a contender, finishing the regular season with 59 wins and defeating all opponents in the playoff in six games or less. They squared off against the defending champions, the Detroit Pistons, where they won games one, two, and five and lost games three, four, and six, forcing a franchise first game seven in the NBA Finals.
My father, Charles Gomez II, was fortunate enough to attend this historic game. He was seated in the fourth row directly behind the Piston’s bench which consisted of all-time greats in the 2000s era such as Ben Wallace, Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Chauncey Billups etc . He received tickets to the game from the company he still works for today, Ricos Products, that sells concession products to the Spurs organization. He described the event as being a “hotspot for celebrities” as he remembers seeing superstars such as Eminem, Puff Daddy, Mariah Carey and many more. The game was, to no surprise, sold out, filling the then newly-built SBC Center (now the AT&T Center) with almost 19,000 fans. He said that this series put an end to the controversy regarding the construction of the SBC Center. One of the main reasons for the building of the new arena was due to the fact that the Alamodome was too big for Spurs’ basketball games. The Spurs wanted a smaller, nicer stadium which would provide a more quality experience for the fans while they can frequently sell out games at the same time.
The game’s atmosphere was alive and electric, as he remembers his fellow San Antonians “going absolutely crazy” throughout the duration of the game. The crowd “heavily consisted of Spurs fans” as he recalls Eminem, a Detroit native, one of the few people wearing a Pistons jersey that night. He said “it was one of the greatest games I’ve watched in all of sports” as he was able to witness two all-time great NBA teams go back and forth trading baskets. The Detroit Pistons got the lead early and maintained it for three full quarters until San Antonio gained the lead about two minutes into the fourth quarter and never looked back. The Spurs ended up winning the game by seven points, 81-74, delivering San Antonio its third championship overall, and second in a three-year span.
He said that the finals win was “remarkable and great for the city, not only in terms of revenue but for the culture of San Antonio as a whole.” His job also requires him to travel a lot to expand the company’s network of buyers across the United States. He said the job was “great for business” because being a sponsor for a championship team ultimately “opened doors for new opportunities.” He also said it “was great for conversation” due to the fact that whenever he would tell someone “I’m from San Antonio,” they would associate the city with the team’s recent championship and “talk about what a great team we had.” It goes to show that sports is more than a just game, the result of one athletic event can have a significant impact on a city and change a person’s life forever. It can provide businesses with consumers they never had before and can turn out to be the greatest, most memorable game a person has attended in their entire life.
Charles Gomez III attends St. Mary’s University and is pursuing a major in marketing. He was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, and attended Central Catholic High School. In his free time, he works as a volunteer football coach at St. Matthew Catholic School and he enjoys motivating and guiding the youth to become the best versions of themselves.
Posted September 17, 2019