With the 2024 NBA Finals and the champion Boston Celtics official celebration behind us, 'tis the time to reflect on not only this season, but NBA champions of the past as well. Thanks to Tim Duncan, David Robinson, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Gregg Popovich, the San Antonio Spurs and their fans have multiple title runs on which they can reminisce.

While their only Finals loss serves as one of the league's more memorable moments because of Ray Allen's late Game 6 heroics for the Miami Heat in the midst of a seven-game classic in 2013, we rank each of the Black and Silver's five journeys to the Larry O'Brien Trophy.

5. 2007: A Cavalier effort

From finishing with the third seed in the Western Conference during the regular season to a ho-hum NBA Finals vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers, the 2007 title comparatively brings up the rear on this list.

Spurs highlights include sweeping LeBron James in his first championship series and an exciting second round battle vs. Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire and the Phoenix Suns in which Stoudemire and eventual Spur Boris Diaw were suspended for coming off the bench ahead of a pivotal Game 5. Sandwiched around the Suns series were pedestrian victories against the Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz. The run ended with Parker earning Finals MVP honors marking the first Spur other than Duncan to win such honors for the franchise.

4. 2003: A Net gain

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich talks to San Antonio Spurs power forward Tim Duncan (21) during the first half against the New Orleans Pelicans at AT&T Center.
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Of their five successful Finals appearances, 2003 best represents peak Tim Duncan with series averages of 24.2 points, 17 rebounds, 5.3 blocks and 5.3 assists. In fact, he came within a block of a quadruple-double in the title clinching game. In actuality, though, Duncan was probably better in another championship series. More on that later.

This battle against the Nets is widely regarded as one of the most boring in league history. Low ratings and an average score of 88-82 doesn't hurt that narrative. Neither does the fact that Parker and Manu Ginobili were coming into their own, so most of the country was not yet familiar with a trio that, along with Duncan, would become a playoff fixture for the next decade and beyond.

While maybe not his absolute best Finals, '03 cements maybe Duncan's greatest accomplishment. Flanked by a rookie Ginobili, a young version of Parker who didn't play his best in the title series, and David Robinson in his last season before retirement, the greatest power forward of all-time led those Spurs to the league's best record before ending the Shaquille O'Neal/Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers bid for a four-peat. The Wake Forest great essentially spearheaded a championship with a young Stephen Jackson as his second best player for a good part of those playoffs.

3. 2005: Firing on all Pistons

Ginobili made the All-Star Team and Parker ranked second on the Spurs in scoring that season. Along with Duncan, the eventual winningest trio in NBA history needed only five games to knock off the 62-win Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Finals. The 2005 championship vs. the Detroit Pistons marks the best representation of San Antonio's top talent at the collective height of its powers. With Ginobili nearly earning series MVP honors, they outlasted the defending champs in seven games. Though the “Big 3” were hardly alone.

In the midst of five straight All-Defensive First Team selections, Bruce Bowen proved vital against Pistons guards Richard Hamilton and Chauncey Billups. Proven NBA veterans like Brent Barry and Nazy Mohammed played key roles. And then there's Robert Horry. One of his many legacy defining clutch moments set the stage with a dramatic game-winning three-pointer in the waning overtime moments of a pivotal Game 5. It was the first competitive contest before Detroit answered in SA to force a Game 7. Led by Duncan, who took home a third Finals MVP trophy, and Ginobili, the Spurs erased a nine-point third quarter deficit to capture their third ever title in the last possible game that season.

2. 2014: Turning up the Heat

Without a doubt, the best any version of the Black and Silver has performed in the Finals. Factor in the opponent and it might be the best Finals performance by any team period.

A Miami Heat squad armed with arguably the best player the game's ever seen, in his prime, flanked by two eventual Hall-of-Famers and big-time power forward Chris Bosh, going for a third straight NBA championship – was completely run off the court. A two-point loss was all that prevented a Spurs sweep in a match-up that saw Gregg Popovich's band amass an average margin of victory of 18 points. Even in losing Game 2, they enjoyed a then NBA Finals record 14 point per game difference for the series (the 2018 Golden State Warriors had a 15 PPG difference).

With trademark ball movement and flow that came to be known as the “Beautiful Game,” the Black and Silver dominated LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Ray Allen and Bosh in South Florida, getting out to big leads in Games 3 and 4. The “Heatles” never truly threatened either night before Kawhi Leonard and company outscored them by 33 after falling behind by 16 points in the decisive Game 5.

The '14 title also marked a third stage of Spurs dominance. Drafted in 2011, Leonard joined an organization that hadn't won a game beyond the first round in three seasons and helped get them to the conference finals before back to back Finals appearances. Though Duncan was no longer a dominant force and Ginobili was past his prime, together with Parker, Finals MVP Leonard and fantastic showings by role players like Boris Diaw and Patty Mills, they brutally avenged a seven-game heartbreak the year before to Miami.

1. 1999: In the Knick of Time

If 2014 symbolized the championship run's third act, 1999 served as the origin story. If 2003 featured classic Duncan, 1999 showed off monster Duncan.

In just his second season, the 7-foot legend erased 26 frustrating years of franchise flirtation with a campaign that's as close to wire-to-wire as it gets in the NBA. The Spurs finished with a league best 37-13 record in a strike shortened year. They then went 15-2 in the playoffs, including a five-game victory over the New York Knicks for the franchise’s first title. Duncan set the tone on the ultimate stage by pouring in 33 and grabbing 16 rebounds in Game 1. He seized the moment with 31 points and 9 boards in the decisive Game 5. Behind his 27 PPG and 14 rebounds per contest, San Antonio won the first two contests by double digits and Game 4 by seven before the one-point clincher at Madison Square Garden on June 25, 1999.

It came in the first season following the end of the Chicago Bulls reign. A then 23-year-old Duncan and All-Star level David Robinson rose above the many superstars who had long been denied championships because of Michael Jordan. In the playoffs, they dispatched of Kevin Garnett and the Minnesota Timberwolves before sweeping both the Shaq/Kobe Lakers and a talented Portland Trail Blazers squad that knocked off a Utah Jazz core that had threatened the Bulls the previous two years. The 12 consecutive wins the Spurs captured between a Game 2 blemish vs. the T’Wolves and a Game 3 setback in Manhattan set the NBA record for the longest winning streak in the same postseason. It took Kevin Durant joining the Steph Curry era Golden State Warriors to break the mark. Only the 2017 Warriors and 2001 Lakers have sported better playoff records since the NBA went to the postseason format it still utilizes.

Add the end-to-end dominance to the gravity of serving as the franchise's first championship and the impetus for an unprecedented two-decade run in basketball history – and 1999 comes in first. In more ways than one.