I went to high school outside of San Antonio and always heard rumors about this, but, apparently, San Antonio Spurs dinners are legit.
This ESPN article is long but a great read on it: Michelin restaurants and fabulous wines: Inside the secret team dinners that have built the Spurs’ dynasty
In short, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has for decades used long and intimate team dinners to build team relationships.
I love this idea.
And it seems to work beautifully:
Says one former player: “I was friends with every single teammate I ever had in my [time] with the Spurs. That might sound far-fetched, but it’s true. And those team meals were one of the biggest reasons why. To take the time to slow down and truly dine with someone in this day and age — I’m talking a two- or three-hour dinner — you naturally connect on a different level than just on the court or in the locker room. It seems like a pretty obvious way to build team chemistry, but the tricky part is getting everyone to buy in and actually want to go. You combine amazing restaurants with an interesting group of teammates from a bunch of different countries and the result is some of the best memories I have from my career.”
Amazingly, Popovich seems as capable around food and wine as he is on the basketball court.
And, renowned for his generous tipping – of course – Coach Popovich always picks up the tab.