The San Antonio Spurs are a professional basketball team that is based in San Antonio, Texas. They compete in the National Basketball Association as a member club of the Western Conference Southwest Division. The San Antonio Spurs plays their home games at the AT&T Center located in San Antonio.
The Spurs is one of the four former American Basketball Association teams to remain intact in the NBA after the 1976 ABA–NBA merger. They are also the only former ABA team to ever win at the NBA championship. The Spurs managed to win a total of NBA championships, which lined them up with teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers, the Boston Celtics, and Chicago Bulls for having several NBA championship wins. The Spurs is one of the active franchises with the highest winning percentage in NBA history. Besides that, they also have a winning head-to-head regular-season record against every active NBA franchise ever. In this article, we are going to know more about the San Antonio Spurs.
Spurs’ Franchise History
The San Antonio Spurs was initially called the Dallas Chaparrals, and they used to be a member of the original version of the American Basketball Association or ABA. Back when the team was still the Dallas Chaparrals, they were coached by Cliff Hagan, and they were one of the eleven teams that took the floor in the inaugural season of the ABA. However, the second season was disappointing for the Dallas Chaparrals because they just finished in 4th place during the playoffs.
From then on, the Chaps experienced poor attendance and audience disinterest in Dallas. During the 1970-71 season, the team decided to drop name Dallas and replace it with Texas, hoping that it would make their team a regional one. However, the name change proved to be a failure. That is why they took back the name Dallas for the 1971-72 season. During this season, they decided to split their home games at the Dallas Convention Center Arena and Moody Coliseum.
From Dallas to San Antonio
Even if the Chaparrals had experienced quite successful events on the court, the team was still struggling financially, especially during their third season, because the team owners don’t want to spend so much money on them anymore. For the first time since their inauguration, the Chaparrals missed the playoffs in the 1972-73 season, and by then, almost all the team owners wanted to quit. It was until a 36 San Antonio businessman, led by John Schaefer, Red McCombs, and Angelo Drossos, entered the picture. The team of San Antonio businessmen worked out a “lend-lease” contract with the Dallas ownership group. The agreement states that Drossos, along with his co-businessmen, would lease the basketball team for at least three years, and they would move them to San Antonio.
After the deal was finalized, the team’s name was immediately changed to San Antonio Gunslingers. However, just before they played their first game as a new team, they decided to change their name again to Spurs. They said that the name was derived from a spur, a metal tool that is typically worn on the heels of cowboy boots in order to help them control a horse’s movement and direction. Not only that, but the team also changed their colors from red, white, and blue to the now white, black, and silver motif of the Spurs.
Since 1983, The Spurs’ mascot has always been the Cayote. The mascot was portrayed by Tim Derk for over 21 years and is known for its rehearsed skits, dance numbers, and slapstick humor. In 2007, The Cayote mascot of the Spurs was inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame.
1999 NBA Finals – This is the first time that the San Antonio Spurs won an NBA championship. During this time, Tim Duncan was named as the Most Valuable Player of the finals. At the game five of the Finals, Avery Johnson scored the game-winner with just 47 seconds. This was the first of five championships that San Antonio Spurs have won.
2003 NBA Finals – The 2003 playoffs started a little rough for the San Antonio Spurs. This is because they lost game one of the first-round series against the Phoenix Suns. However, the Spurs was able to bounce back and take the series in 6 games. The San Antonio Spurs made it into the Finals, and they went against the New Jersey Nets. Luckily for the team, they won the finals with four games to 2. Once again, Tim Duncan was named as the Most Valuable Player of the Finals.
2005 NBA Finals – During the 2005 NBA Finals, theSan Antonio Spurs played against NBA defending champion and Eastern Conference Champion, Detroit Piston. The Spurs managed to win this series with four games to three, and they have a homecourt advantage. And for the third time, Tim Duncan was once again named as the MVP of the Year.
2007 NBA Finals – During the 2007 NBA Finals, the San Antonio Spurs played a best-of-seven-series against the Cleveland Cavaliers. This was the Spurs’ fourth time to reach the NBA finals and the Cavaliers’ first time. The Spurs swept the game where they scored four games to 0. This time, Tony Parker was hailed as the series’ Most Valuable Player of the year.
2014 NBA Finals – During the 2014 NBA Finals, San Antonio Spurs went against Miami Heat, wherein the Spurs managed to win five games with four games to 1. This win marked the Spurs’ fifth championship in the NBA’s. Aside from that, this was also when the team outscored the Heat by 14.0, which is considered the most significant average point differential in the NBA Finals history. During this season, Kawhi Leonard was hailed as the MVP of the year.
San Antonio Spurs’ Most Notable Players
- Johnny Moore
- DeMar DeRozan
- Bruce Bowen
- Kawhi Leonard
- Tony Patker
- Avery Johnson
- George Gervin
- Sean Elliott
- Manu Ginobili
- Danny Green
- James Silas
- David Robinson
- Tom Copa
- Tim Duncan