Ten years later, Spurs forward Stephen Jackson doesn’t remember much about his first rodeo road trip.
Except for the smell.
On his way to San Antonio International Airport to start the team’s inaugural journey in 2003, Jackson made a stop at the AT&T Center fair grounds to see what the fuss was about.
Savoring a concession-stand turkey leg amid the unappetizing stench of bulls and broncos, Jackson gave the dining experience the kind of review that won’t be appearing in the next Zagat’s guide.
“If you can handle the smell of a little manure, you can eat good,” Jackson said this week. “You’ve got to be able to take a little doo-doo.”
It’s not exactly the stuff of Confucius. But Jackson’s bit of rodeo-inspired bathroom wisdom — call it the Tao of Jack — could serve as a metaphor for the Spurs tonight in Minnesota.
Though they likely will be forced to open their 11th annual February odyssey down two-thirds of their Big Three, at least the Spurs won’t be hip-deep in the smelly stuff for the long run.
Injured All-Star forward Tim Duncan and super sub Manu Ginobili are not expected to play against the Timberwolves. But both were on board the team flight when it lifted off for Minneapolis on Tuesday, leaving the door open for each to return at some point before the rodeo trip ends.
Ginobili, 34, is nursing tightness in the left hamstring he strained Jan. 13 against the Timberwolves, causing him to miss a total of five games.
Duncan, 36, suffered a mildly sprained right ankle and sore left knee when Washington’s Martell Webster rolled into the back of his legs in the 96-86 victory that sent the Spurs off Saturday.
The fact that Duncan apparently will travel for the duration of the trip — spanning 21 days interrupted by the All-Star break, covering 8,056 miles and featuring games in every time zone in the continental United States — is a positive sign.
“That’s great,” forward Kawhi Leonard said. “We need him for our team to win.”
Rodeo trip launching pad for playoffs
San Antonio Express-News | Feb 6