Because dynasties, every one but Auerbach’s and Russell’s Celtics, burn out. The Bulls won six titles in eight years, going back-to-back-to-back twice. The Lakers won five under Phil Jackson. Also, the Bulls slid from champions to irrelevance quickly and, take a look, so have the Lakers.
In all but the strike-shortened season of 1998-99, when San Antonio went 37-13 in the regular season and won its first title, the Spurs have never won less than 50 regular season games and only failed to make it out of the first round of the playoffs three times. Nine times they’ve won at least two series and reached the conference finals.
It’s stunning and amazing and might never happen again.
3. No mercenaries allowed: Probably the closest thing San Antonio’s ever had to a hired gun is Robert Horry, and yet he was never anything more than what Ray Allen has been to the Heat.
The Spurs have done it the old fashioned way: through the draft. It’s where they picked up Manu Ginobili with the 57th overall pick in 1999, where they found Tony Parker with the 28th pick in 2001, and Duncan with the first pick in 1997.
Has anybody else ever drafted three contemporary eventual Hall of Famers whose draft selections added up to 86? Probably just the Spurs.
4. Greg Popovich: You can make a great case that Pop’s done more to get what he’s gotten out of his teams than Phil Jackson ever had to do to get what he got out of his.
Jackson’s believed to be the greatest ego manager in the history of the game, yet he’s never been thought of as a great adjustment guy, a great X’s and O’s guy, or, for that matter, a guy who’s had to massage an entire unit toward greatness.