Linda, Kelly and I braved the crowds at the Spurs Celebration on the River yesterday. There were thousands on hand to cheer the NBA Champions.

We wandered down the River to almost the starting point. We were lucky to find a grassy knoll to sit on to wait. We sat behind some elderly folks who erroneously thought the crowd would remain seated once the parade started. Ha. They were so frustrated, they left mid-way through the parade after waiting three hours to see it.

The first hour was blazingly hot, but the sun finally moved west and we had lots of shade and an occasional breeze. Thankfully my friend planned better than I and came with towels to sit on, grapes to eat and Gatorade to share.

About 5 pm, entertainment started on the main stage. A nice drumline with dancers, so the music really helped the last hour speed by.

It’s funny the crowd this sort of event brings. Young and old. Red, yellow, black and white. Everyone is generally on their best behavior (although a few slobs were bad about their trash).

Those two wearing the yellow shirts on top of the bridge controlled the barges. They had Go and Stop signs that essentially let us know when there was a commercial break. You can see the camera arm stick out from the left. It panned over to us many times, but my mom said she didn’t see us.

Tony Parker and the Trophy. That’s Eva Longoria sitting in the front left corner of the barge in the black cap with her back to us. The guys in the crowd cheered for her as much as they did Tony.

There were about 25 barges, carrying the players, coaches, Spurs staff, city council and other dignitaries and the team fan club, The Baseline Bums.

The players barges only had one or two players on them. We discovered that we wouldn’t recognize a lot of them on the street (except suspecting they were bb players by their height). There were several player barges that went by and none of us knew who the players were. Sad, I know.

I’m not so great with getting good pictures of moving objects, so obviously my shots of Manu are just a blur…

All of the local television stations ran the parade live, along with the final stop at the Alamodome. Both events were free to the public.

The final float carried Tim Duncan and Bruce Bowen.

Most of the players and coaches stopped at the stage and were given a microphone to speak to the crowd. They were all kind and generous, calling our fans the best in the world.

Tim is really pretty shy in these situations. Mostly he thanked the crowd for their support. He was probably wishing he was home with his wife Amy, who is expecting their first child any minute now.