A Dynasty in San Antonio: Part II

Dynasty In Question

Earlier today, Jordan Rivas, presented his reasons why the Spurs title run in 1999, 2003, 2005, and 2007 does not place the franchise among the great NBA dynasties. 

Next is Lance Fell who will give his reasons why the Spurs should be considered a dynasty after winning the title four times since 1999.

Throughout time, there have been great dynasties all over the world. From 1550 thru 1292 B.C. the 18th Dynastyof Egypt helped usher in a new era of economic prosperity for the Egyptian people. Perhaps the most famous of all Egyptian Pharaohs, Tutankhamen became ruler of Egypt during the 18thdyansty at the age of nine, and died before his twentieth birthday. The Argead Dynasty was another great dynasty that ruled all of the Greek Empire from 700 to 310 B.C. Lead by none other then Alexander the Great, The Argead Dynasty was able to expand all the way from Greece to India, and conquer one of the greatest empires of all time, The Persian Empire. The last great Chinese Dynasty, the Qing Dynasty, lasted from 1644 all the way till 1912. 

But what is a dynasty? And what factors have to be involved for the label dynasty to be used? Webster defines dynasty as a powerful group or family that maintains its position for a considerable time. Bing dictionary said a dynasty is a prominent and powerful family or group of people whose members retain their power and influence through several generations. So after reading and going through an assortment of different definitions, I found the most common things needed for anything to labeled as a dynasty is it has to be a family, it has to have power, influence groups of people, and last for long period of time.

From 1999 to 2007, no other team in professional sports displayed those four qualities needed to be a dynasty like the San Antonio Spurs.

Family

There is no other team in the NBA that is more like a family then the Spurs. From the owner Peter Holt all the way to the players, every member of the Spurs franchise is a member of the family. Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan have the type of connection that is rarely seen between coaches and their superstars. It’s almost a Father-Son relationship. The same could be said about Tony Parker’s relationship with Pop. Sean Elliott, who has been retired since 2001, still commentates games and continues to be a vital part of the organization while David Robinson, who has been retired since 2003, still goes to every game, and even has a stake in the franchise. Once you’re a member of the Spurs family, you’re always a member.

Power

Power is a necessity if your family is to be labeled a dynasty, and since 1999, the Spurs have been one of the most powerful franchises in all of professional sports. From 1999 to 2007, the Spurs had a winning percentage of .709, which is the highest of any team, in any professional sport during that time. In fact, in that span of time the Spurs won a total of 503 regular season games, which is 37 more then the second closest team, the Dallas Mavericks.

Influence

It’s because of how successful and how powerful the Spurs have been, that they fulfill the next requirement of being a dynasty: the ability to influence other groups of people, and no team in sports has influenced their respective league like the San Antonio Spurs. It is because of the Spurs that the Phoenix Suns acquired Shaquille O’Neal. The Lakers obtained Pau Gasol so they could have a big man that could compete with Duncan and the Spurs. Former assis


tant general manager Sam Presti is now the general manager of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and they look like they might be competing for a ring in a couple years. Former Spur Steve Kerr is the general manager of the Suns and Danny Ferry, now the general manager for the Cleveland Cavaliers, once worked in the front office for the Silver and Black as well. Teams throughout the Association have been influenced by the Spurs to build their teams through the draft, and find key role players through free agency to help compliment their superstars.

Time

The last thing needed to qualify as a dynasty is “time.” A dynasty should influence other groups of people or organizations that surround it for a considerable amount of time. And the Spurs have done just that. For more then ten years, the Spurs have held their place at the top of the NBA, and in the world of sports, ten years can seem like an eternity. Not even the Great Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen of the 18th Dynasty was King for ten years. Some might argue that they aren’t a dynasty because the Lakers won three in a row and the Spurs never repeated. But the Spurs have maintained a level of greatness that is unsurpassed in modern sports. When the Lakers won their three titles, the Spurs were right their with them. Only in 2000 did the Lakers win more games then the Spurs. When the Lakers fell to pieces in 2005, it was the Spurs who continued excel and be the premiere team in professional sports.

All great dynasties leave behind a legacy. The legacy left behind from the Argead Dynasty will be one of Alexander the Great and his conquest of the Persian Empire. To this day he is still the measure in which all great generals compare themselves. The legacy left behind from the Spurs Dynasty will be one of “Tim Duncan the Great” and his conquest of the NBA. When Duncan retires, he’ll be the measure by which all big men compare themselves.

However, Duncan’s greatness won’t be the only thing we remember about the dynasty. It will also be remembered for its commitment to the team concept. That no one player is bigger then the whole, and the idea that all the right pieces are needed if there is to be a parade in San Antonio. In sports, where egos often collide and money talks more than championships, every member of the Spurs organization, from 1999 till now have never put themselves before the team, and that’s how great sports dynasties are defined.

They are defined by the great athletes and coaches that make up the franchise. Players like Michael Finely and Robert Horry, who were willing to accept the position of role player. Or a player like Manu Ginobili, who could start on any other team in the league, but understands his importance off the bench and does whatever is necessary not for himself, but for the team. That’s how the Spurs Dynasty will be remembered.

I’ll remember the Spurs Dyansty for so many things. The wins, the loses. The bitter rivalries withother teams and the emotions that every game brought out of me. Emotions I never thought I had. I’ll always remember after we lose in 2006 to the Mavericks, I was eating at Taco Cabana (a local San Antonio fast-food chain) with my girlfriend at that time, when I broke down. I just started crying, right there in the middle of Taco Cabana, tears falling over my delicious fajita taco, when a man, who also had a Tim Duncan jersey on, came up to me and said, “It’s going to be okay. There’s always next year.” I looked up at him, streams of tears large enough to raft pouring from my eyes, and I smiled. I smiled because I knew he was right. There is always that chance that next season we can take it.

That’s what I’ll mostly remember from the Spurs Dynasty. The excitement it brought to my hometown. The anticipation right before the season starts and the enthusiasm of each and every Spurs fan. The best memory of the Spurs dynasty for me was in 2007. Standing at the intersection of 24th and Commerce in San Antonio, in the middle of the street, embracing my uncle Gino, with a broom in one hand. Tears of joy this time, running down my face. The guy at Taco Cabana was right. We did it.

The Spurs Dynasty will be viewed in many different ways depending on where your from or what team you root for. Some people say its not a dynasty at all. To those people all I can say is fine. The statistics are there for anyone to see. No other team has had the immense success the Spurs had during their dynasty. They are a dynasty in every way possible. From 1999 to 2007 they were the most powerful team in the league and influenced a plethora of teams to make moves that could help them compete against the Spurs. But understand this, it’s not over. As long as Tim Duncan is in a Spurs jersey, there’s always the chance that the Spurs could win another championship. Then maybe that title will quiet all the doubters.

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