5 Greatest Players in San Antonio Spurs Franchise History
San Antonio Spurs, the biggest team in the NBA news for the summer of 2018, the rift between Kawhi and the franchise has divided the whole fanbase. Some Spurs supporters claim that the Spurs treat their players with the utmost care and honour and Kawhi not playing was his way of wanting to leave. Hence many are calling this the end of the Great Spurs era.
The Spurs franchise in today's day is regarded as one of the all-time best, and most of the credit goes to the current coach Greg Popovich. Popovich who became the head coach of the Spurs in 1996( 22 seasons ago) has led the team to playoffs for 21 seasons straight a feat only achieved by the 76ers of the 50'-71'. Popovich combined with once scout now GM RC Buford have been able to find the best players through the non-lottery draft picks.
Popovich has many times claimed that his biggest win was drafting Tim Duncan in the draft of 97'. Pop and RC first built a brilliant defensive team with the ' Twin Towers' of Duncan and Robinson. Then after Robinson was getting old, the focus shifted to an All-Star Duncan and rising Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. Manu and Duncan were responsible for winning the 2003 and 2005 finals where both of them created a scoring machine Duncan in the post and Manu from mid and the arc. Further, as Parker showed signs of greatness, Pop shifted focus to the one position and won the 2007 championship. Finally, as the Big-3 of Duncan, Manu and Parker got old, Pop created the exquisite ball movement offence and won the 2014 championship and nearly winning the 2013 finals if not for Ray Allen.
But, one thing which sets the Spurs apart is that every season whether the one seed or the 8th seed everyone feared of facing the Spurs in the playoffs which are the real reason they are considered to be one of the best franchises of all time.
#5 - Manu Ginobili
This player is the greatest steal for the NBA and the San Antonio Spurs, Manu was by far the biggest achievement of the current General Manager R.C.Buford. Buford found Manu and convinced the Spurs to draft him as the 57th pick in the 1999 draft. However, it wasn't until 2002 that he joined the franchise, where he was key in their championship run. Manu was injury-ridden during his NBA rookie year but managed to make the All-Rookie 2nd team. During the playoff run against the defending champs Lakers and Nash led Suns, it was Manu's exceptional scoring ability which took his opponents by surprise found it tough to keep up and defend all the players.
Although Manu does not have great individual honours like George Gervin, some believe that his contributions in the Euro League and Gold Medal in 2004 Olympics might put him over. However, these achievements were not a part of his Spurs campaign, he still won a Sixth man of the year award and was a part of the All-rookie second team. Furthermore, he participated in 2 All-Star games for the western conference and 2 All-NBA teams. But Manu does have some in-game records like 3rd most 3pt in playoffs and sixth in the number of playoff games played.