Age doesn’t matter in the NBA so long as your skills and work ethic remain submerged in the fountain of youth. The Spurs showed us that this season making use of their dominance on the Miami Heat in the 2014 NBA Finals. The Spurs have now been written off as old for such a long time they might apply for NBA AARP plans. No one expected them to be around this long or playing at this level. But that’s what the Spurs are about: excellence and consistency. They’re as near to the Bill Russell Celtics as we’ll ever get.
The Spurs did it the proper way in a league full of microwave contenders. Teams come and go, and yet the Spurs remain. They drafted Tim Duncan number 1 overall in the 1997 NBA Draft. They pioneered the surge of international players by drafting Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili late in drafts. Their role players relished their positions and delivered. Guys like Avery Johnson, Sean Elliot, Steve Kerr, and countless others over time bought into a system that delivered championships. And they took in castoffs from other teams and seamlessly integrated them in to the team. The Spurs always seem to really make the right draft selection, the proper trade, and generate the proper guy to sustain their success.
Where in actuality the Spurs succeed most (and other teams fail) is their no ego approach. No one player is bigger compared to team. For years Duncan took a pay cut to ensure the Spurs would always be a contender. Parker and Ginobili may have played elsewhere for more income, but sacrificed for the good of the team. And most importantly, it never was in regards to the stats. The Spurs just won the championship without any 20 point per game scorer. They don’t rely on superstar power from their big 3, but rather a collective effort out of every player on the roster.
The Spurs are truly an anomaly in the current league. While other teams turn to synergy superstars, they remain patient and build in the draft. While other teams rely on flash and flair the Spurs rely on fundamentals. The Spurs build for the long term, while other teams are here today and gone tomorrow. Enjoy these Spurs as you can. The longevity of these excellence will probably never be observed again. Earlier I compared their longevity to Russell’s Celtics. As the Spurs didn’t capture 11 titles in 13 years, they stayed in the look for 15 years in a competitive league and captured 5 championships. They’re the final of a dying breed, and this season they certainly were the final team standing. Here’s to the excellence of the San Antonio Spurs.