It is almost funny how often no one cares to notice the San Antonio Spurs as the season approaches the post season. Over the past decade, the Spurs have managed to have success playing a different style of basketball. It isn’t fancy and it rarely draws oohs! and aahhs!, but it is a style that wins. Since 1999, the unexciting Spurs have won it all four times. Under head coach Gregg Popovich, who is the longest tenured coach in the NBA, MLB, NHL, and the NFL, San Antonio is a living example of a team who has stayed relevant by playing disciplined defense and a strategy-oriented offense. I don’t hold back in labeling the Spurs a dynasty.
Since the dissolve of the forever-prominent Chicago Bulls of the 1990s, the Spurs have been the most consistent team in the wins column outside of the LA Lakers. They won four out of nine NBA titles between 1999 and 2007, while maintaining the same “big 3” foundation since Hall of Famer David Robinson retired in 2003. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobli have literally led the same type of team for a decade. They are a team that is always defense first. They think rationally before emotionally better than anyone else and they have a coach that will give them an ear full if they don’t. They are a team that is to be respected.
The most intriguing aspect of the Spurs’ success over the years has been the fluid consistency between Gregg Popovich’s philosophy and the demeanor of the front office in how they draft players. Players shuffle in and out all of the time. It doesn’t matter where you go. For the Spurs it has been their core and building what that core needs around them to succeed. It goes without saying that it seems all coach Pop needs in a player is a guy knows the basic fundamentals of basketball who has a mind for molding. It speaks volumes of his abilities as a mentor.
Most will admit without hesitation that the Spurs are not a fun team to watch. I would agree with that statement wholeheartedly. However, they are a team that knows how to win against all kinds of opponents. In fact, they have showed it this season against the Golden State Warriors and after a four-game sweep of the Memphis Grizzles; they are sitting in their fifth Finals in 15 years. It will also be their first appearance since 2007. And with aging stars under a legendary coach, they are hungrier than ever.
The bottom line for the San Antonio Spurs is how they understand what it truly means how to play one game at a time and how to remain disciplined in the moments where emotions can so easily get the best of their opponents. In coach Popovich’s 17 seasons with the Spurs they have only missed 50 regular season wins twice. They have only finished worst than first or second in the Midwest division once. The list goes on and so do they.
The San Antonio Spurs are in the NBA Finals once again and much could easily be attributed to defense, respect, and discipline because they will always be defensive-minded first. They will always respect the coach who has proven time and time again that playing smart, strategy-oriented basketball can always compete with talent. While lastly, they will always match or exceed your disciplinary standards. It’s simply a matter of them being the Spurs and doing whatever it takes to win