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Is It Time Yet To Give Spurs Their Props?

spurskings-wrThe San Antonio Spurs are going for their fifth NBA World Championship. They are up 3-0 in the Western Conference Finals after knocking off the Memphis Grizzlies in overtime for the second straight game on Saturday. The Spurs, for whatever reason, don’t come to mind when discussing the NBA’s greatest teams. Many times, it is about the failures of the teams who lose to them rather than giving them credit for winning.

This could be partly because the Spurs have spread their titles out. They have never won two in a row much less won three straight. But should they get a fifth title here in 2013, shouldn’t we start mentioning them with the great NBA dynasties?

This would be their fifth title, all with coach Greg Popovich and forward Tim Duncan. Yet, whenever we hear about the greats, we hear about Bill Russell with his 11 rings, Michael  Jordan with six, Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant with five, Bird with 3 , etc. But rarely does Duncan’s name pop up. But if he ties Kobe Bryant, that has to change.

The Spurs have won championships in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007 and are now one win away from going to play for one in 2013. They are a perfect 4-0 in NBA Finals over that stretch.

In 1999, the Spurs beat the New York Knicks. So that one was all about the Knicks failing in the Finals yet again as they had in 1994, and also in several Eastern Conference Finals. It was all about Patrick Ewing going without a ring.

In 2003, the Spurs beat the New Jersey Nets in six games. That one was all about the Nets losing in the Finals for the second straight year.

In 2005, they beat the Detroit Pistons in seven games. That was about Larry Brown losing a chance at a repeat in the Finals.

In 2007, the Spurs beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in four games. That one was all about Lebron James losing in his first trip to the Finals.

At some point, somebody should notice the San Antonio is winning a lot of rings. But we have the suspicion that if the Heat beats the Indiana Pacers to get to the Finals and face the Spurs, the Spurs winning will be met with stories about the Heat failing to repeat and Lebron losing in the Finals for the third time.

But here are the facts. San Antonio is a great team. They have been for a long time. Even in the years they did not make the Finals since 1999, they have been a contender. They have won 19 division titles since 1978 and 10 since 1999. Duncan has been there for all 10.

Duncan should also be getting a lot of love for sticking with his team. He could have done what Lebron James did and left for the Orlando Magic via free agency, but he stayed with the Spurs. He has been rewarded and so has his team with what appears to be a fifth conference title this year and perhaps a fifth NBA Championship.

There may be a requirement by many that a dynasty must have at least two titles in a row. But if the Spurs win another championship this season, and right now they look like they might, maybe we will all have to re-think that. Five championships with one coach and one star player is a dynasty no matter how we look at it.

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