Newfoundland feel to next UFC Halifax card
The next UFC fight card in Halifax will have a distinct Newfoundland feel to it.
Kyle Crotty of Nain was impressed by Duncan and ‘The Admiral’; remains a big San Antonio fan to this day
Imagine, a chap from northern Labrador who is an NBA fan … of the San Antonio Spurs, no less.
“I’ve always gotten weird looks from people when asked who’s my favorite team,” says Kyle Crotty of Nain.
Originally from Placentia – he’s the son of former senior softball all-star Gus Crotty – Kyle, now 28, moved to Nain in 1998 when he was nine.
“This is the time in a young boy’s life where they start to make decisions for themselves on favorite sports teams,” he says.
His mother worked as a nurse in Nain for 17 years, meaning he spent a lot of nights with her at the clinic, glued to the television set watching The NBA on NBC or any game TSN covered during the week.
“Of course, it was easy to watch and cheer for the (Chicago) Bulls, but Michael Jordan and the Bulls just didn’t appeal to me,” he said. “What did appeal to me was the basketball program in San Antonio.
“They had the Twin Towers, with newly-drafted Tim Duncan and ‘The Admiral’, David Robinson, clogging up the middle.”
He was definitely sold on the Spurs in 1999 when San Antonio won its first championship by defeating the New York Knicks in the final.
Following the title run, San Antonio’s Sean Elliott, coming off a playoffs in which he averaged almost 12 points a game, announced that he would require a kidney transplant.
He received one that summer, and returned to the Spurs in March.
“That solidified me as a diehard fan,” Crotty said.
Crotty played basketball in Nain – “I was 13 playing against men” – and started for the Holy Spirit high school team when he attended Grade 12 at the C.B.S. school.
Following graduation from Memorial University, Crotty returned to Nain where he works for the Nunatsiavut government.
He got to see the Spurs and his favourite players, Duncan and Kawhi Leonard, on his 25th birthday in Toronto against the Raptors.
Taking in a game in San Antonio – “even if it’s a lengthy and costly trip from northern Labrador to southwestern Texas” – is on his bucket list.
“Although the Spurs have won championships (5 NBA titles, six conference crowns) throughout the years I’ve been cheering for them, common responses are ‘They’re boring’ or that I must be on some sort of bandwagon,” Crotty said. “But the truth of the matter is it’s been the Spurs’ constant team-first attitude with superstars taking roles as opposed to being standouts that has been my constant draw to the team.”