Prior to this year, the San Antonio Spurs had won championships in odd years–1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007. Motivated by demoralizing 2013 NBA Finals heartbreak, San Antonio swarmed the Miami Heat in 2014 during five games.
The following seasons after the Spurs’ first four Finals appearances, San Antonio exited in the first round, conference semifinals twice and conference finals. Getting better each year was San Antonio understanding the amount of energy and focus required to return to the Finals the ensuing season.
Each year the Spurs continue to win. It’s something 18-season veteran and counting, Gregg Popovich, doesn’t take for granted.
Nor does San Antonio management, rarely reshuffling the deck during the summer. After Tim Duncan opted in for the final year of his contract, the Spurs re-signed Matt Bonner, Boris Diaw and Patrick Mills during NBA free agency.
San Antonio also signed first-round draft pick Kyle Anderson (UCLA) and Bryce Cotton (Providence) who went undrafted. As for the Spurs’ Big Three–Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker–they have never suited up for another NBA franchise.