28-28 • 10th in WESTERN CONFERENCE
As it stands, head coach Gregg Popovich will most likely remain the San Antonio Spurs' head coach for at least a couple more seasons. After a dismal 2019-20 campaign where Pop missed the playoffs for the first time in over two decades, the 71-year old tactician showed no signs of slowing down as he entered the 2020-21 season.
Given his energy and ever-so-lively spirit on the court, Pop is poised to keep climbing the ladder of the winningest head coaches in NBA history, where he currently sits at third place. There has been some talk about who will possibly fill Pop's shoes with the likes of Becky Hammon waiting in the wings, but as of now, those shoes remained filled with the future Hall of Famer's feet for at least a few more seasons as he tries to win his sixth NBA ring.
It would be hard to imagine the current San Antonio Spurs lineup contending for a title. Spurs fans saw it last year when the team missed the playoffs for the first time in 22 years, with guys like DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge leading the way. Both DeRozan and Aldridge are set to be free agents after this season. The fact that the Spurs haven't been a legitimate contender after Kawhi Leonard left in 201, points to them possibly tearing their roster down and starting a rebuild sooner rather than later. They didn't do much coming into this season and it seems likely that something drastic will happen if they end up missing the playoffs again in 2021.
The Spurs might have to move on from both DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge if nothing big happens this season. With the duo leading the way in 2019-20, the Spurs missed the playoffs for the first time in over two decades with head coach Gregg Popovich still calling the shots. If these two can't bring the Spurs back to the playoffs this season, it’s likely that their time in San Antonio will come to an end.
In DeRozan's case, the 31-year old has a handful of good seasons left. With an abundance of young budding stars like Lonnie Walker and rookie Keldon Johnson, the Spurs can choose to move DeRozan in exchange for draft picks or possibly a young big. There are a lot of teams that can use a swingman like DeRozan, so it would be a matter of talking with the right team and getting pieces that can help San Antonio build around their young core.
Aldridge hasn't been the superstar big the Spurs wanted him to be when he signed. Yes, he has received three All-Star nods during his San Antonio tenure, but him filling in Tim Duncan's shoes was an impossible feat from the get-go. The 7-time All-Star is still solid, but unfortunately, solid won't help the Spurs win a championship. Championship contenders with a chance to win right now could use Aldridge, though. The Spurs can opt to trade him in exchange for future draft picks or other promising young talent.
If the Spurs want to get something in return for a guy like DeMar Derozan, then the time to move him will be now. The 31-year old's contract expires after this season meaning he can simply walk away by the end of the 2020-21 campaign. That's definitely not the position this San Antonio franchise would want to be in given that they did trade him for their former franchise player in Kawhi Leonard. Any team that would want to win right now would benefit from the addition of a potent scorer like DeRozan. Though a lot of the teams who are early contenders for the 2021 title have made big moves already this season, there are still teams who can easily be legitimate title contenders immediately with the addition of a four-time All-Star like DeMar.
Based on their track record over the course of history, it's hard to count these San Antonio Spurs out. Though they did miss the playoffs for the first time in 22 years last season, having an all-time great head coach in Gregg Popovich always gives you a chance. In a season full of uncertainties and irregularities due to COVID-19, anything can happen and the Spurs going all the way to the playoffs with their current roster doesn't seem quite impossible. Their young guys have shown promise and their veterans have complemented their young core and stepped up. With more time together and Pop still making the decisions, this team can definitely be a playoff-bound squad.
Right now, DeMar Derozan is still the best player on the San Antonio Spurs roster. In the 2019-20 NBA season, DeRozan led the team in scoring (22.1 points per game) and assists (5.6 assists per game). He was also in the top five of the team's rebounds and steals. Entering the 2020-21 NBA season, all signs are pointing to him doing pretty much the same thing for Gregg Popovich in DeRozan's third year in San Antonio. The 31-year old has one of the best mid-range games in the league right now and has averaged above 20 points per game for the past seven seasons. Having a superstar like DeRozan also bodes well for the Spurs' young core like Dejounte Murray and Keldon Johnson who could pick up a thing or two with having a veteran like him leading the way.
As of early 2021, the estimated net worth of the San Antonio Spurs franchise has risen to $1.85 billion (via Forbes). This value puts them at the 14th spot in the league. Having a rich championship history has put the franchise on the map as one of the most successful franchises in recent NBA history and they have the books (and the rings) to prove it.
For almost two decades now, the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas has been home to the San Antonio Spurs franchise. The arena was originally named the SBC Center when it opened its doors in 2002 under SBC Communications, Inc. which purchased naming rights to the arena in a 20-year deal. In 2005, alongside the merger between SBC Communications, Inc. and AT&T, Inc., the arena's name also shifted to AT&T Center.
The San Antonio Spurs has been owned and operated by the Spurs Sports & Entertainment L.L.C. ever since the franchise started in 1967. In 1993, businessman Peter Holt invested in the team and eventually became the team's principal owners. The Spurs won a total of five championships during Holt's tenure before he retired in 2016. His wife, Julianna Holt, succeeded him and is currently SS&E's Chairman and CEO.
Future Hall of Famer Gregg Popovich is the San Antonio Spurs' head coach and has been for quite some time now. Pop has been the head honcho in San Antonio since 1996. In over two decades, the Indiana-native has won three NBA Coach of the Year Awards and five NBA titles. Currently, he sits in third place in the list of most wins as an NBA head coach - both for the regular season and the playoffs.
Currently, the San Antonio Spurs have six assistant coaches under head coach Gregg Popovich. The Spurs' coaching staff is spearheaded by former WNBA superstar Becky Hammon, who made history this season after being the first woman to act as an NBA coach after Pop was ejected from a game between the Spurs and the Los Angeles Lakers. Alongside Hammon are assistant coaches Will Hardy, Chip Engelland, Darius Songaila, and Mitch Johnson. Johnson was actually promoted late last season to fill in for the shoes of Tim Duncan who stepped away from his assistant coaching job after one season.
Gregg Popovich is undeniably the best head coach for the San Antonio Spurs. Since taking over the coaching job in 1996, Pop has won five NBA titles and three NBA Coach of the Year awards and has only missed the playoffs twice. Before missing the post-season in the 2019-20 NBA season, the 71-year old head coach was able to lead the Spurs to 22 straight playoff appearances. He currently sits at the number three spot in the NBA's most wins as a head coach.
Before Pop, there have been a few other head coaches that put themselves in contention as being noteworthy members of the Spurs' history. For starters, there's former ABA champion Doug Moe who was the Spurs' head coach from 1976-1980. Moe won 177 games in his time in San Antonio and brought the team to the playoffs in three out of his four seasons.
Another all-time great in terms of head coaches for the Spurs is Stan Albeck who took over after Moe left. The legendary tactician spent three years in San Antonio and was able to bring the Spurs to the post-season in all of those years. He finished his tenure with a 153-93 record and has the third-most playoff wins in franchise history with 13.
Last but not least is Gregg Popovich's old boss, Larry Brown. Brown was the Spurs' head coach from 1988-1992 where he had the services of Popovich as one of his assistant coaches at that time. Like Albeck, Brown also won 153 games for the Spurs in four seasons before moving on to coach different teams around the league. He won an NBA title as the head coach of the Detroit Pistons in 2004.
When you talk about the best players to ever put on a Spurs jersey, you have to include "The Iceman" George Gervin. Gervin played for the Spurs for 10 full seasons and was an All-Star in all 10. Known as one of the smoothest operators to ever play in the NBA, Gervin notched four scoring titles and was an All-NBA team member in seven of his 10 seasons with the Spurs.
A couple of European greats also make the list. Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, are numbers four and three (respectively) on the Spurs' all-time greats list. Both Ginobili and Parker won four rings in their time together with the Spurs and have cemented their names as two of the most successful international superstars the league has ever seen. The Argentinian Ginobili became one of the best role players in the NBA, earning the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year award in 2008. Parker, who hails from France, is one of the best point guards to ever play for the Spurs, if not the best.
For his contributions to the Spurs franchise, David Robinson has clearly earned his spot as the second-best Spur of all time. The Admiral spent his entire 14-year career in San Antonio and evolved to become one of the best and most consistent big men in the league. He raked in quite a few individual accolades while leading the Spurs to two NBA titles. The former US Naval Academy standout was the Rookie of The Year (1990), the league's best rebounder (1991), blocker (1992), and scorer (1994). He was also a 10-time NBA All-Star, a Defensive Player of the Year, and a league MVP.
At the top of the list is none other than Tim Duncan. The Big Fundamental has made a case to be considered as one of the best power forwards of all-time. Duncan ended up playing two decades for the franchise, and the first overall pick rewarded the Spurs not just with his loyalty, but through his dominance on the court. In his time with the Spurs, he made it to the All-NBA First Team 10 times and he was selected to the All-Star team fifteen times. He led the Spurs to five titles while winning three Finals MVP nods.
From the 1970s-1980s, it was George Gervin who put the San Antonio franchise on his back. "The Iceman" was a walking bucket and averaged 26.3 points per game in his time with the Spurs. His patented finger roll helped him earn four scoring titles, which puts him at third-most in NBA history.
James Silas is another Spurs legend who played alongside Gervin. Silas, a sharpshooting point guard, was a two-time ABA All-Star and helped usher in San Antonio's entry to the NBA after the NBA-ABA merger. At the end of his 10-season career as one of the best scoring guards in the franchise, the Spurs chose to retire his No. 13 jersey.
As the 1990s approached, a star in David Robinson emerged. The former US Navy member had an incredible career in his time in the NBA, all of which he spent in San Antonio. A scoring champ and a block and rebounding leader, Robinson did it all. The 1995 NBA MVP was one of the best and most consistent centers in the league, which resulted in a HOF career. Robinson's noteworthy teammates Sean Elliott and Avery Johnson also did enough for them to be considered as legends for the Texas-based franchise. Both Elliott and Johnson were also integral members of the Spurs' 1999 Championship Team.
Arguably the biggest part of that 1999 team was No. 21, Tim Duncan. Duncan won his first of three NBA Finals MVPs that year and would continue to carry on the winning legacy for the Spurs for the next two decades. The Big Fundamental ended up winning five NBA titles for the Spurs and was blessed to be joined by other legendary Spurs like Bruce Bowen and even a young Kawhi Leonard.
Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are also San Antonio legends in their own right. These two superstars paved the way for other international stars to enter the league and actually be successful. Both Ginobili and Parker won four rings together alongside Duncan and formed one of the most dominant trios that dominated the 2000s.