Sunday night the San Antonio Spurs beat the Utah Jazz, 122-104. With that they are 50-16 on the season, the best record in the NBA.
The last time the San Antonio Spurs didn’t win 50 games in a season everyone was worried about the Y2K bug and people for some reason freaked out at “The Blair Witch Project.”
That was 1989… and really it’s not accurate in spirit to say the Spurs didn’t win 50 games that season. They went 37-13 that lockout season — play at that winning percentage out over 82 games and the Spurs would have 60 games (and they won the NBA title that season).
More accurately the last time the Spurs didn’t win 50 was the 1996-97 season, the year the Spurs won just 20 games so Brian Hill was pushed aside for Gregg Popovich.
That is 17 straight seasons with at least 50 wins.
That is ridiculous.
It’s been said on every sports Web site and a few others, but this is THE model organization in professional sports.
Yes, it’s a tribute to players like Tim Duncan, David Robinson, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and countless role players. It’s a tribute to smart drafting.
More than that it’s a tribute to the organization and the culture that GM R.C. Buford and Popovich have built — there is a reason other teams have been poaching Spurs front office for years. The on the court systems have been tweaked over the years — they used to be all defense, now even Popovich uses some stuff from the Mike D’Antoni playbook — but the ability to find players that fit what they do, then develop those guys and fit them in, has not.
They go out and get guys like Marco Belinelli, knowing that he has been an okay fit in other systems but would blend in better with what they do. Patty Mills, Danny Green and a host of other guys the same way, then they develop them.