San Antonio Spurs
- NBA Championships: 5
- Last NBA Championship: 2014
- Claim to Fame: The Spurs have made the playoffs every year since 1998.
- Claim to Shame: The Spurs gave Bruce Bowen license to jeopardize the careers of NBA jump shooters with his overly aggressive closeouts.
If ever there was a team you could set your watch to, it would be the San Antonio Spurs. Originally known as the Dallas Chaparrals, this beloved franchise dominated the now defunct ABA during the late 60’s and early 70’s, winning an average of 42 games during their first nine years in existence.
The Spurs’ winning ways continued unabated when they joined the NBA in 1976 thanks to larger-than-life figures like George Gervin and Artis Gilmore, both of whom are now enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame. The two All-Stars powered San Antonio to multiple 50-win seasons and a pair of trips to the Western Conference Finals.
The Spurs turned the corner from good to great in 1997 when they promoted Gregg Popovich to head coach. The wily bench boss won 56 games in his first full year and guided the Spurs to their first NBA title during 1999’s strike-shortened season.
San Antonio became a model of consistency under Popovich’s tutelage and would go on to win 12 more division titles, five more conference titles, and four more NBA championships over the next 19 years. They weren’t always the most athletic or most talented team during that span, but they continually executed their game plan at a high level and made other teams pay for their mistakes and mental lapses.
With the drama of the Kawhi Leonard saga behind them, the Spurs churned out another playoff season last year and nearly knocked off the Denver Nuggets before losing in the final moments of Game 7 of their first round series.
With DeMar DeRozan fully comfortable in the system alongside LaMarcus Aldridge and a promising young core of Derrick White and Dejounte Murray, the Spurs are going to be a tough out each and every night