This may qualify as my new favorite NBA story. Ever.
It goes all the way back to the fall of 2005, back when if it was an odd year you could count on the Spurs winning an NBA title. Brent Barry was part of that team, as of course was Tim Duncan.
And that’s where we pick up the story Barry told Buzzfeed (hat tip to SLAM) — Duncan and Barry are standing there moments before the tip-off of the’05-06 season, soaking in the adoration from winning a title, waiting for their name to be called so they can go up and get their ring from David Stern.
As I basked in that satisfaction I stood next to Tim Duncan. I said something like “Well that was fun last year, we should try to do this again!” He giggled his goofy giggle. And then I asked him how much he would give me if I kissed David Stern upon getting my ring.
He offered a sum, I considered it and waited for my name to be called. As I approached the Commish I felt like I couldn’t let my captain down. So after a quick ‘Congratulations Brent’ from David I hugged him and planted one right on his cheek. To this day, I swear he and grandma have the same skin.
As I moved slowly from the spotlight as it found the next player, I casually glanced over to Tim and, wiping my tongue with my finger tips as if something flakey remained from my time with Mr. Stern, I mouthed the words: “You owe me a hundred bucks!”
Maybe the best part of this is that Barry and Duncan are on the 2007 title team for the Spurs as well and before that ring ceremony David Stern pulled Barry aside in the Spurs locker room and said there would be no kiss.
Actually, no. The statement Stern’s skin feels like his grandmother’s is the best part. Going away.