Updated 3:19 pm CDT, Sunday, August 18, 2019
Photo: NBA.com Courtesy Photo
Pete Anton, the Spurs’ longest-tenured employee and the NBA’s oldest active employee, has died at age 93.
Anton joined the Spurs as a media services assistant in 1973, the club’s first season in San Antonio after moving from Dallas. The only employee remaining from that inaugural Alamo City campaign, Anton spent 46 years in the organization, working throughout the 2018-19 season.
He outlasted 11 head coaches and saw more than 300 players cycle through the organization. In February, the Spurs honored Anton in a pre-game ceremony, presenting him with a framed jersey emblazoned with the No. 93 — his age.
Anton died Saturday night from complications following a stroke.
“He’s just one of those fine human beings that when you’re around him, you’re like, ‘He’s a better person than me, ‘ ” Gregg Popovich, the Spurs’ 12th head coach of Anton’s tenure, told ESPN at the time. “You just know it when you’re with him, and that’s who Petey is.”
Born to a pair of Greek immigrants in East Chicago, Ind., — which also happens to be Popovich’s hometown — Anton moved to San Antonio in the 1960s.
He originally began working for the Spurs at the suggestion of a neighbor, former Major League Baseball star Pinky Whitney. Anton took a job checking media, staff and player credentials at the gate of HemisFair Arena and essentially never left the post — even as the team relocated to the Alamodome and now the AT&T Center.
“I never expected anything like this. I am thankful for the Spurs for being so loyal to me all these years, which I appreciate so very much,” Anton said in February. “I am also thankful for all the people I have met over all these years.”
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