The San Antonio Spurs have won their fifth championship in year number 17 in the Tim Duncan Era. But how did we arrive at trophy number five? How illustrious have the Spurs' journey been? What were the crucial signings for the team as Duncan, the franchise's centerpiece, changed through the years?
Here we track down the important dates that meant something for the franchise with a timeline of the big moments in Spurs' history!
1996 – The Spurs sign The Human Highlight Film, Dominique Wilkins, who would lead the team with 18.2 points per game, and a 20-62 record, the league’s third-worst. The losing record would net them the top pick in the 1997 draft. And that top pick would soon take that number 21 jersey away from Wilkins:
(Image via spurstalk.com)
June 25, 1997 – With the first pick of the 1997 NBA Draft, the Spurs select Wake Forest’s Tim Duncan, who would later win Rookie Of The Year, and help them make the Playoffs—the first of 17 consecutive appearances up to now.
(Image via bleacherreport.com)
June 25, 1999 - With a league-leading 37-13 record in a lockout-shortened season, the Spurs win their first championship exactly two years after selecting Duncan. Their star sophomore leads the team with 27.4 ppg, 14 rpg, and 2.2 bpg.
(Image via nba.com)
June 30, 1999 – The team starts to show its knack for finding international talent. In the ’99 Draft, they select Manu Ginobili—then just known as some guy with a weird name—with the 57th pick.
June 27, 2001 – With the 28th pick of the 2001 Draft, the team selects the final member of its soon-to-be Big Three (and future ex-husband to Eva Longoria): Tony Parker.
May 2002 – Tim Duncan wins the first of his two MVP trophies. Unfortunately, the dynastic Los Angeles Lakers would prove to be too much as they trounced the Spurs in the second round of the Playoffs.