Beginning in 1999 until today, this past decade has been the golden age of the Spurs franchise. Spurs fans have celebrated four NBA titles, seen countless dramatics in the playoffs and witnessed great players to wear the Spurs jersey. Yes it has been a wonderful past 10 years for the franchise.
But with the decade about to end we here at Project Spurs would like to give you the Spurs All-Decade Team, 1999-2009. We begin today with the starters.
Center: David Robinson. This was an obvious selection. He was the NBA Defensive Player of the Year (1992), All-Defensive First Team (’91, ’92, ’95, ’96), and the first player in NBA history to rank among the top five in rebounding, blocks and steals (per game) in a single season. He also led the NBA in rebounding (1990–91 season) with 13 per game and in blocked shots (1991–92 season) with 4.49 per game. He retired from the NBA in 2003 a champion when the Spurs defeated the New Jersey Nets in the NBA Finals. He finished with 10,497 rebounds and 2,954 blocked shots while with the Spurs, the most by any player in Spurs history. Let’s not forget he was the 1995 NBA MVP, two-time NBA Champion (1999 and 2003) and now an NBA Hall of Famer.
Power Forward: Tim Duncan. Another no brainer pick. He is a four-time NBA champion, a three-time NBA Finals MVP, a back-to-back NBA MVP, and been voted into 11 All Star games, 12 All-NBA Teams, and 12 All-Defensive Teams. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg for Tim’s resume. He is considered the all-time greatest power forward to ever play in the NBA, had a near quadruple-double in the 2003 NBA Finals, and hit a memorable 3-point shot against the Phoenix Suns in the 2008 NBA Playoffs.
Small Forward: Sean Elliott. Has there ever been a more dynamic player at this position than Elliott in Spurs franchise history? I don’t think so. He is the all-time franchise leader in three-point field goals made and attempted. He is also the only player in Spurs history to rank in the top ten in six different statistical categories: games played (third), points (fourth), rebounds (sixth), assists (seventh), steals (eighth), and blocks (ninth). He was a two-time all-star, won an NBA title with the Spurs in 1999 and is best remembered for the “Memorial Day Miracle” 3-point shot against the Portland Trailblazers in the 1999 NBA Playoffs. He was also the first player to come back to play in the NBA after a kidney transplant and retired from the NBA in 2001.
Shooting Guard: Manu Ginobili. Talk about an absolute steal for the Spurs when they drafted Manu with the 57th pick in the 1999 NBA Draft. Manu joined the Spurs in 2002 and helped the Spurs win three NBA championships, was an All-Star in 2005 and the NBA Sixth Man of the Year for 2007-2008. Manu is also one of only two players ever, to win a Euroleague title, an NBA championship, and an Olympic gold medal. His style of play is defined as “controlled chaos.” He plays with passion and is not afraid to sacrifice his body for the team. It will be interesting to see what the Spurs front-office does with this being his last year of his contract with the Spurs.
Point Guard: Tony Parker. Who would have ever believed when the Spurs drafted Parker at 19 years old he would have this much success in a short amount of time in the NBA. Considered one of the best and quickest point-guards in the NBA, he has helped the Spurs win three NBA titles in 2003, 2005 and 2007. He has been selected a three-time NBA All-Star, an All-NBA Third Team member, and was the 2007 NBA Finals MVP. His fast paced style on the court has allowed him to get to the rim with ease with his signature shot of the “teardrop.” Because of this, he was a leader in the NBA for 2005-2006 season for “points in the paint.” In Game 4 of the first round of the 2009 NBA Playoffs against Dallas, he matched George Gervin’s franchise playoff record for points in a half with 31. Some argue because of his performance against the Mavericks in the 2009 NBA Playoffs and leading the Spurs to the 2007 NBA championship while winning the 2007 Finals MVP, the torch has been passed from Duncan to Parker as the future of the Spurs franchise.
Talk about a devastating starting five! Please leave your comments on the 1999-2009 Spurs All-Decade team and come back later as Michael De Leon will give the Spurs All-Decade bench and coach. I wonder who he will pick as the coach?