Big Three of the Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs still have a Big 3, Even Without Duncan.
What kind of an NBA writer would I be if I didn’t talk about the legendary San Antonio Spurs?
The Spurs have made the playoffs every season since 1989. They have also won a total of five championships in that tenure. However, all five of those championships have come from a team that housed The Big Fundamental; Tim Duncan.
Duncan was drafted to the Spurs in 1997, which was one year before I was even born, so this season being the first without him is definitely a different feel. 1997 was also four years before the Spurs drafted Tony Parker, and two years before the Spurs drafted Manu Ginobili, one of my favorite players of all time.
The three of them made the Big 3 that we know and love, and arguably the greatest big 3 of all time.
Tim Duncan retired from basketball after the 2015-16 season, leaving Parker and Ginobili behind to finish up their careers and breaking up the big 3. However, there is one person that has been there throughout it all, and is actually the main reason for Parker, Duncan, and Ginobili’s success. That person is, of course, Greg Popovich.
Greg Popovich made the big 3 into a big 4. Now that Duncan has retired, there is a true big 3 created. I’m not talking about Kawhi Leonard or Lamarcus Aldridge. They are for another time. I’m talking about Popovich, Parker, and Ginobili.
Yes, they are getting old. That is no secret as Manu Ginobili is 39 years old this season and Tony Parker is 34. Ginobili is likely going to retire after this season, and Tony Parker has expressed his intent to stick with the team until he physically can’t compete any more.
That being said, Parker still averaged 11.9 points per game last season and Ginobili averaged 9.6 points per game. At 35 and 39, that’s not half bad. They both can produce a solid outing night-in and night-out.
Plus, Greg Popovich has proved himself as an NBA coach after winning five championships with the Spurs, and continuously making the playoffs every season.
This season, the Spurs are looking strong. Throughout four games, they have shown no break in stride since losing Tim Duncan. They have beaten the “perfect team” Golden State Warriors who (if you haven’t heard) acquired Kevin Durant in the off-season. They didn’t beat them in a thriller, either. It was actually quite a one-sided game for the Spurs after they won 129-100.
I expect a great season for the Spurs this year, and they should make the Western Conference finals, if not the NBA finals.
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