“Red McCombs was the anchor for San Antonio and the Spurs because his faith was so anchored,” Avery Johnson said.
SAN ANTONIO — A memorial service held Monday for Red McCombs, a San Antonio business icon and former owner of the San Antonio Spurs, reflected his deep involvement in the San Antonio community and particularly with the NBA team.
McCombs died last Sunday at the age of 95.
Speaking at the service was Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich and former Spurs guard Avery Johnson, both of whom reflected on their relationships with McCombs.
“He was a larger-than-life figure. His booming voice, his intimidating countenance, his straight-shooting. He suffered no fools. He was a special guy,” Popovich said.
“Red McCombs was the anchor for San Antonio and the Spurs because his faith was so anchored,” said Johnson.
Without McCombs, there probably isn’t an NBA team in San Antonio.
He moved to San Antonio in 1958 and brought the ABA Dallas Chaparrals basketball team to San Antonio in 1973, renaming them the Spurs.
Soon after, the ABA Spurs were absorbed into the NBA, and the rest is San Antonio history.
“As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, it’s important to state that without Red and Charline there would be no Spurs. His approach, vision and impact were unique and wonderful,” Spurs’ RC Buford said in a statement. “On a personal level, I am forever grateful for the trust, support and lessons that Red provided to me and my family over our 35-year friendship. There will never be another Red McCombs.”
Also passing on their thoughts was NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.
Twitter: @KENS5, @JeffGSpursZone