The San Antonio Spurs are something unique in today’s world of basketball, where it is all about ‘me’ and not ‘team.’ Their run in the 2014 postseason showed the world what true team basketball is all about as they took down the two-time defending champion Miami Heat for their fifth NBA title.
But where does title number five rank among the franchise’s other four? Below I ranked the Spurs titles and gave insight as to why the title deserves the ranking it does.
1) 2014 NBA Championship
After losing a heartbreaking 2013 NBA Finals, many critics around the league said the silver and black were ‘too old’ and their championship window had closed. The Spurs proved everyone wrong en route to the leagues best overall record and best road record. They stumbled out of the gate as the postseason began, going seven games with the number eight seed Dallas Mavericks. After that they defeated the Portland Trail Blazers in five and Oklahoma City in six.
Defeating the two-time defeating champion Miami Heat was sweet enough. But getting revenge on last years Finals loss, getting Tim Duncan his fifth ring and passing the touch to Kawhi Leonard made it that much sweeter. This Spurs team had it all.
They won it all doing what they do best, playing Spurs basketball.
2) 2003 championship
The Spurs knew that David Robinson was going to retire, they were determined to send him out on top. Duncan dominated as he averaged 24.2 points, 17.0 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.0 steals and 5.3 blocks per game as the silver and black defeated the New Jersey Nets in six games to capture their second title.
3) 2005 championship
In a defensive battle between two evenly matched teams, the Spurs took on the defending champion Detroit Pistons. The series went seven games, but it will be most remembered for Robert Horry’s driving slam dunk and game-winning three-pointer in Game 5. A hard-fought seven game series resulted in the Spurs’ third title and first for Duncan without Robinson.
4) 1999 championship
This is where San Antonio’s title run began and only lost one playoff game in their run to their first title. Sean Elliott’s Memorial Day miracle would be an added boost to San Antonio’s first trip to the Finals. It was Duncan’s first title. The memory of Duncan and Robinson holding up their trophies will be in our memories forever. Duncan was 22 years old, and it was only his second season and it was already clear he had a bright future ahead of him.
5) 2007 championship
These Finals were not dramatic, but the silver and black dominated the Cleveland Cavaliers as they shut them down to sweep the series for their fourth NBA title. The most memorable series of the playoff run was the Western Conference Finals when Horry hip-checked Steve Nash into the scorers table. This resulted in suspensions for Amar’e Stoudemire and Boris Diaw.
All five championships are sweet and special. However, given the heartbreak of the 2013 Finals and seeing the Spurs come together and redeem themselves, the 2014 title is the sweetest of them all.
Be sure to follow your Project Spurs staff on Twitter, including myself @andersonstevem for the latest news on your 2014 NBA Champions during the offseason.