SAN ANTONIO (CBSMiami) – While the Philadelphia 76ers are on a historic losing streak, the San Antonio Spurs continue to show every other team how to be the best organization in professional sports.
When the Spurs beat the Utah Jazz Sunday night, the team ran its record to 50-16 on the season, which also just happens to be the best record in the NBA. The last time the Spurs didn’t win 50 games in a season was the strike-shortened 1998-99 season.
Taking out the strike-shortened season, the last time the Spurs didn’t win 50 games was in 1996-97 when the team’s star player, David Robinson battled injury. Looking even further back, since 1990, the Spurs have won less than 50 games just twice (1992 and 1993), but still made the playoffs both seasons.
During the Spurs’ current run since 1999, San Antonio has won four NBA championships and lost in the NBA Finals last season to the Miami Heat thanks to a historic shot and comeback from Miami.
The Spurs have benefitted from landing two of the greatest centers in NBA history in David Robinson and Tim Duncan. But the team has also put in the legwork and found stars like Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli at other points in the draft.
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich may be a man of few words during sideline interviews, but the culture and system he has built in San Antonio has made the franchise one of the best in NBA history. The league’s respect for the Spurs is evidenced in how many front office workers get hired by other teams.
While the run will likely come to an end soon with the looming retirements of Duncan and Ginobli, San Antonio will continue to be a major player in the Western Conference as long as the team’s system and Popovich remain in place.