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San Antonio Spurs vs. Phoenix Suns image
San Antonio Spurs vs. Phoenix Suns
San Antonio Spurs vs. Phoenix Suns In the summer of 1973, a group of local investors leased the Dallas Chaparrals and relocated the team to San Antonio. Midway through their first season there, the group purchased the team outright, and the Spurs have been a mainstay in San Antonio culture ever since. The Silver and Black played their first three seasons in the ABA before joining the NBA in the summer of 1976, along with the Nets, Nuggets and Pacers. Over the last 25 years, the Spurshave enjoyed a tremendous amount of success. Since the 1997–98 season, Tim Duncan's rookie season, the Spurs have captured five NBA Championships and put together one of the best regular season winning percentages of any team in the four major sports. During that time, San Antonio has posted the NBA's best record five times (1998–99, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2011–12, and 2013–14) and has won 13 division titles. The Spurs’ record during that span ranks as the best 21-year run of any team in NBA history. The team’s success from 2002 to 2016 was largely thanks to the Big Three: Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginóbili. Together, they led the Spurs to four NBA championships (2003, 2005, 2007, 2014) and are one of the most successful trios in NBA history, winning 575 regular-season games and 126 postseason games together. The 2023–24 team includes 13 players from last season and features six of San Antonio’s first-round draft picks from the last five years. Keldon Johnson returns for his fifth season after leading the team in scoring last year, and Devin Vassell enters his fourth (coming off a career-year after averaging 18.5 points). Meanwhile, 2023’s No. 1 overall draft pick Victor Wembanyama will make his NBA debut this season. The Spurs are led by head coach Gregg Popovich, who has been at the helm for over 25 seasons. The longest-tenured coach with the same team in all four major professional sports, Popovich holds the third-best winning percentage in NBA history (.689, 1,197-541). His 1,300-plus victories with the Spurs rank first all-time in NBA history for most wins with one team. Popovich's 170-plus playoff wins rank third in NBA history (behind Phil Jackson and Pat Riley) and his playoff career winning percentage is fourth-best in league history.