It’s hard to imagine anyone arguing over the greatness of the San Antonio Spurs. They’ve won five championships, beginning with their first title in 1999.
However, that title was different compared to the following four. In 1999, the NBA season was shortened due to a lockout.
Some argued the lockout left teams at a disadvantage due to multiple factors including lack of preparation and general player conditioning.
Phil Jackson, who coached the Chicago Bulls to six championships before 1999 and the Los Angeles Lakers to five after 1999, took part in criticizing the Spurs’ 1999 title.
From Jeff Caplan of NBA.com, Spurs owner Peter Holt had these words for Jackson.
“Phil, Phil, Phil, Phil, we all played the same amount of playoff games, didn’t we, Phil?” Holt said.
Unfortunately, Holt must have forgotten Jackson was not a coach in 1999.
Yet, we can’t ignore what the Spurs have accomplished over the past 16 seasons. The Spurs have won five championships, tying the amount Jackson won with the Lakers.
San Antonio has not missed the postseason since 1997. That year being the rookie season of Tim Duncan.
The Spurs have been good for a very long time and made sure everyone was aware by winning the championship for the first time in seven years.
Here’s a scary thought: the Spurs are not done.
They dominated the Heat in the Finals this year, showing they have a lot left in the tank. If Tim Duncan returns, we will probably see another great team down in San Antonio
Some may never quite respect San Antonio’s first title in 1999, but it is almost impossible to ignore the greatness of the Spurs.