Brad wears a Michael Finley jersey in better times – when Finley didn’t play for the Evil Empire.
There I am, maybe 15 years of age hanging out in Sun City in a Michael Finley Suns jersey. Surprisingly, the key statement there isn’t the fact I was in Sun City (boy, those were some crazy times), but rather the now-throwback jersey I was wearing of a guy who currently calls himself a Spur. It got me thinking about just how deep the roots to the Suns-Spurs Western Conference are and just how long I have loathed the NBA’s Evil Empire.
The first time these two ballclubs ever squared off in the postseason was back in the 1991-92 season – a time when grunge dominated the music industry, Terminator 2 dominated the box office and a certain forward by the name of Grant Hill was helping his Duke Blue Devils to two straight NCAA Championships. Phoenix swept San Antonio in three games, led by young up-and-coming superstars Cedric Ceballos, Kevin Johnson and Dan Majerle.
The following year the two teams met again, with the workload being carried this time by new Sun Charles Barkley. In the series clinching victory, the Round Mound of Rebound and 1993 MVP would contribute 28 points and 21 rebounds. The Spurs, meanwhile, were led by their future MVP David Robinson, who in 1996 would have his revenge, dispatching the Suns in four quick opening round games.
Finley was a rookie with the Suns that season, while I was in the early stages of being an NBA fan. The Suns were the most entertaining team in the league that 1995-96 season, boasting a great combination of veterans (Barkley, Johnson) and rising, young stars (Finley, Wesley Person).
The Spurs also had a Person on their squad at that time, a sharpshooter by the name of Chuck, who wasn’t the only crafty veteran on the team’s roster. The Spurs that season were led by Robinson but had a plethora of talent surrounding him like Sean Elliot, Avery Johnson, Vinny Del Negro and Doc Rivers. [Read more...]