The San Antonio Spurs have revolved around their Big 3 of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili for what seems like forever. The role players have come and gone, but the core stays intact. How is this possible?
All three of them have had the chances to go elsewhere, make more money, help a new team win, but they’ve always stayed in San Antonio.
One word: sacrifice.
Tim, Tony and Manu all know they could get a bigger paycheck somewhere else, but they choose to stay. They trust the management of the Spurs, they trust their coach and they trust their teammates. It’s not hard to give up a few million if you’re in a situation that you feel is ideal for your career.
"On the one hand, you can take less money like I did, like what Manu did, and stay with a winning team," Parker said. "Or you can do your own thing and be your own man, like [Tracy] McGrady, and try to be a superstar and want to make the All-Star team, and [Harden] decided to do that. I wish him luck. Both ways, you can't go wrong. It depends who you want to be. A lot of people ask me, 'How are you so successful in San Antonio?' Because, I say, we did a lot of sacrifice. When you look at Manu, Manu did a lot of sacrifice to stay here. I did the same thing. Sometimes when you want to win championships, you have to do that."
Everyone knows what the Big 3 have given up over their careers. That’s why they’re such big fan favorites in San Antonio. The Spurs haven’t made it back to the NBA Finals since they won it all in 2007, but it would be a fitting sendoff for Tim, Tony and Manu if they could make one final run at it together. After a big win over Oklahoma City and with the way the Lakers have been playing, the Spurs have to wonder if this is the year they get back over the hump.