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San Antonio Spurs' all-time starting five

Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard are sure locks in the franchise all-time starting five
Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard are sure locks in the franchise all-time starting five
Yash Matange

The San Antonio Spurs are the fourth-most successful franchise in the history of the NBA, with five championships to show for behind the Boston Celtics (17), Los Angeles Lakers (16) and the Chicago Bulls (6). Almost all of their success has come under the regiment of RC Buford (general manager) and Gregg Popovich (head coach) since the duo took over in the mid-1990's.

That doesn't mean the franchise hasn't been competitive prior to that. The organization has only had six losing seasons in their history. Yes, you heard that right. In 42 years of competing in the NBA, the Spurs have lost more games than they have won only six times.

Also read: Boston Celtics' all-time starting five

It's a testament to the greatness and legacy of the organization. Having said that, let's take a look at the Spurs' all-time starting five:

Point Guard: Tony Parker

Game 4: San Antonio Spurs v Cleveland Cavaliers
2007 Finals MVP Tony Parker

Tony Parker might not feature on the NBA's top 10 point guards of all-time. He might not even make it in the top 15 but his contributions and value to the Spurs have been huge. Heading into his 17th season with the franchise, Parker has already solidified his place as the greatest point guard in franchise history.

Also read: Top 5 NBA point guards of all time

Entering the league at a young age of 19 back in 2001, the Frenchmen was known for his quickness and lightning speed. Popovich and the Spurs immediately got down to using that to their advantage. He was a huge part of them winning three championships in five years from 2003 to 2007.

As he aged, he lost some of that agility. But he didn't let his value dip, making his experience his biggest strength. In the past few years, despite the emergence of newer stars and role players on the team, Parker's play has often decided how the team performed.

Parker's been to six All-Star games and has been selected in the All-NBA teams four times.

Shooting guard: George Gervin

George Gervin during his playing days (Image courtesy - poundingtherock.com)
George Gervin during his playing days (Image courtesy - poundingtherock.com)

Known as 'The Iceman' for his cool demeanor on the court, George Gervin let his game do the talking whether it was the ABA or the NBA. He popularized the finger roll and in his prime was often regarded as one of the best scorers of his time.

Also read: Top 5 NBA shooting guards of all time

His career points total (ABA+NBA) of 26,595 only begin to tell the story. Only Wilt Chamberlain (7) and Michael Jordan (10) have won more scoring titles than Gervin. In his time, when the centers dominated the scoring charts, Gerving was the first guard to win three consecutive scoring titles. He kept scoring but he also did efficiently, shooting 51.1% from the field for his NBA career.

He was named to 12 straight All-Star games (ABA - 3, NBA - 9) and even won the All-Star game MVP in 1980.

Small Forward: Kawhi Leonard

San Antonio Spurs v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Four
Kawhi Leonard

Yes, a player with just six years under his belt is on the all-time starting five of a franchise but Kawhi Leonard isn't any other player. There are very few small forwards in Spurs' history, who have achieved what he has in his career so far - 2014 Finals MVP and a 2-time Defensive Player of the year.

Also read: Top 5 NBA small forwards of all time

He made his mark in the league by being a lockdown defender but as the years rolled on, with the help of the Spurs' exceptional coaching staff, he worked on his shooting and offense. Now, not only is he the focal point of the team's offense but he's the cornerstone of the franchise following Tim Duncan's retirement in 2016.

Under the guidance of the Pop and with the Spurs' organization behind him, expect big things from this player, nicknamed 'The Klaw'.

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Power Forward: Tim Duncan

San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Seven
Tim Duncan

Tim Duncan is often and popularly regarded as the greatest power forward of all-time, so there weren't going to be any surprises here. Among the winningest players ever, Duncan dominated the league and led the team from the front in his prime but was happy to take a back seat for the better of the team when that was needed.

Also read: Los Angeles Lakers' all-time starting five

Duncan doesn't know what it feels like to have a losing season and has made the Playoffs in every one of his 19 seasons. It was his arrival to San Antonio that turned the franchise, its culture and its commitment to winning.

He was awarded the MVP award in consecutive years in 2002 and 03. Duncan was a huge reason for bringing the organization's first championship in 1999 and even for the four titles that followed. He was named Finals MVP thrice - 1999, 03, 05.

Center: David Robinson

Spurs v Mavericks X
David Robinson

Younger fans often tout David Robinson as the secondary player with Tim Duncan around. However, he was a huge reason the Spurs relevant in the 1990's. He joined the team in 1989 and for the next seven seasons, the team never recorded a winning percentage below .500

Also read: Top 5 NBA centers of all time

In that span, he was named the rookie of the year, defensive player of the year in 1992, league MVP in 1995 and was a regular member of the league's All-NBA (10) and All-Defensive (8) teams. In the last game of the 1993-94 season, he scored 71 to clinch the league scoring title.

Once Duncan came in 1997, he did what the team needed - manning the paint being a physical force inside. Other than a Finals MVP, Robinson has won almost everything an individual can in the league.

Edited by Yash Matange

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