SAN ANTONIO — Attend any comic convention, see him out and about, or just go to his IMDb page, and you will likely notice the famed DC and Marvel animation producer, and director Sam Liu wearing a San Antonio Spurs baseball cap.
Yes, the animation director who brings to life many of the most popular superheroes and directed some of the most exhilarating animation films from "All-Star Superman," "Justice League vs. Teen Titans," "Superman-Batman: Public Enemies," "Hulk Vs.," "Planet Hulk," "Thor: Son of Asgard" to "Justice League: Gods and Monsters" and many more is a huge Spurs fan and cannot stop showing his love for the Silver and Black.
Whether he is signing autographs for fans or creating award-winning animation movies, when it comes to the NBA there is only one team for him: The Spurs!
But how did Liu become a Spurs fan? Has he been tempted to drop a Spurs Easter eggs in any of his animated flicks? Which Spurs make his top-five list?
In this exclusive interview with Liu, he speaks about his love for the Spurs, who is on his all-time Spurs list, if he tries to mention the Spurs in any of his animation movies, and if there are more animated movies on the horizon, and so much more.
Jeff: First of all, thank you so much for doing this interview with me. As a proud geek, I am thrilled you are chatting with me.
I got to ask, how did you become a Spurs fan? Was it a player? Have you been a fan even in the Spurs' pre-dynasty era?
Sam: David Robinson!
I read articles about David during his draft year while working in a bookstore and his character really stuck out to me. While in college my roommates who were big basketball fans (I was not) would watch games all the time.
One guy asked me who my team was and I asked how David Robinson was doing. He went off about how great he was and how he made the Spurs into a contending team etc.
So I became the Spurs guy in the group. I'm in Los Angeles, so broadcasts at the time were limited and I would usually only catch games during the playoffs.
Jeff: Alright, so who is on your all-time, top-five Spurs list?
Sam: Manu [Ginobili], David, Tim [Duncan], Tony [Parker], and Sean [Elliott]. I know George [Gervin] is an absolute legend but since I've never seen him play that is my list. George is like a fable I heard about!
Jeff: What do you make of the current state of the team? The Spurs' rebuild is here.
Sam: It's been tough as I am sure it's been for a lot of fans. I'm waiting for those two to three exceptional players to rally behind and get excited again.
Now, I'm just trying to manage expectations for the sake of my sanity.
Jeff: Have you ever been tempted to add Spurs references in your animated films?
Sam: (laughs) I have, but legal stuff prevents a lot of it. But I keep trying!
Jeff: Do you know the Looney Tunes director who added Manu Ginobili reference in an episode with Babs Bunny? How did all that come about?
Sam: I know Hugh Davidson who is, I believe, a co-showrunner and head writer.
We talked a lot during the 2013 playoffs leading up to the finals. We would run into each other in the kitchen and talk about how draining the whole run was.
Then a lot of consoling and anger at the result of the finals.
He is a HUGE Spurs fan and if I remember right, is from San Antonio. He is the one responsible for writing that line about Manu in. We both love Manu and were quite sad when he retired.
Jeff: Without getting you in trouble, what projects do you have cooking for DC animated fans? Anything you want to break with me?
Sam: The slate for next year's batch has been announced but the cast/creators haven't yet so I will have to be a little vague.
It's an "Else-World" story and a little different. It's a little weird and was quite challenging to make. It should be released sometime early next year.
Jeff: Alright, I have to ask this very corny-cringe question but which Spurs (current or former) do you think would make great superheroes and why?
Sam: (laughs) I hate these kinds of questions just to let you know. But to stay "on brand", it would have to be a superhero team right? The team would be prime, my top-5 I mentioned earlier!
Most recently, Liu directed and co-produced "Batman: Soul of the Dragon" which is a must-see for any comic fan.
So show your support for a fellow Silver and Black fan and check out his latest movie, Spurs fans!