If you were to look at the short list of Australian basketball players that have participated in winning the Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy, you would see the names six men and reach the conclusion that the shortest route to glory runs through San Antonio, Texas.
Andrew Gaze was playing with the San Antonio Spurs in 1999 when they won in a strike-shortened season, beating the New York Knicks four games to one the best-of-seven series. San Antonio had the services of David Robinson and Tim Duncan, known as the Twin Towers and two of the best ever to play the game. Remarkably, Duncan is still playing and still effective 17 years later.
Just prior, in 1998, Luc Longley became the first Australian to win an NBA Finals series. He was with the Chicago Bulls and the championship was the third consecutive for the Michael Jordan led squad.
When San Antonio won again in 2014, Aron Baynes and Patty Mills were on the team and contributed significantly then as they still do today.
In 2015, it was Andrew Bogut with the Golden State Warriors taking the big prize. He like Longley was for the Bulls is responsible for rebounding and blocking shots from the centre position.
This year, Matthew Dellavedova enjoyed the sweet taste of victory with the Cleveland Cavaliers. His road to glory demanded the Australian battler persona in spades, as he has had to fight his entire life to earn playing time at the college and professional level.