san antonio spurs history
san antonio spurs history
Heaven help the people who buy San Antonio Spurs tickets. Some call the Spurs’ gritty style boring basketball that’s being played in the AT&T Center; others like to call in championship basketball. The Spurs win with their style. They take on all the offensive juggernauts the league has to offer and dismantle them. Soon teams that average 100 points cannot get out of their own way. It is painful to watch…. Unless you like winning, and NBA Championships, and Tim Duncan’s flawless post game, and wunderkind point guard Tony Parker, and all those wonderful things Manu Ginobili can do with a ball. Maybe San Antonio Spurs ticket holders do not have it so bad after all.
This thing started the right way. The Spurs used to have George Gervin. Gervin, also known as The Iceman, would pour in points. He could effortlessly score 50, all the while managing to play no defense whatsoever. Who needed defense when you were lighting up your man on the other side of the court? Fans buy Spurs tickets to see the ball go through the hoop, after all. Iceman was unstoppable, redefining smooth for an entire generation. Gervin’s forte was the finger-roll. It was graceful and artistic. It defined a man who would kill opponents softly on a nightly basis.
When The Iceman lefteth, the Spurs endured a dark period. The only bright spot for the team was Alvin Robertson. Robertson was probably to blame for the whole defensive mind-set in San Antonio. He was considered peerless as a defender in the 1980’s, winning Defensive Player of the Year twice in that span.
In 1988, David Robinson was drafted. The seven-footer from the Navy was a natural defensive stopper. He was quicker than any other center in the league, and ran the floor like a guard. Robinson made an immediate impact, sparking a 35-game improvement from the year previous. Robinson made the Spurs part of the NBA elite for the entirety of his career, and was named NBA MVP in the 1994-95 season.
More help arrived in 1997. After a disappointing season, the Spurs fortunes quickly turned around at the end of the season, when they were able to land Tim Duncan. The addition of another defensive-minded seven-footer proved to be the last piece of the puzzle, as the Spurs won their first championship in the strike-shortened 1998-99 season.
With Duncan and Robinson on the court, and Greg Popovich at the helm, the Spurs went from good to great. They usurped the Lakers in 2003, ended a three-season run for Los Angeles, and won their second title of the Duncan era by besting New Jersey in the finals.
Another championship followed in 2005, despite the retirement of Robinson the year before. Duncan started a new era of excellence with Parker and Ginobili, turning defense and more defense into wins.
Boring but effective. But maybe things are changing. The Spurs added Michael Finley, from the offensive minded Mavericks, although Finley was the only one guarding anyone at his old team. He will probably fit right in with the Spurs. Nevertheless, Finley is a polished offensive player. Perhaps he and the creative Ginobili can make San Antonio Spurs ticket holders get something for the trip to the Alamo Dome besides another boring victory.