The San Antonio Spurs and winning have been synonymous ever since the franchise joined the NBA in 1976. Since 1976, the Spurs have only missed the playoffs four times – they currently rank second among franchises for the highest winning percentage in NBA history, trailing only the Los Angeles Lakers. In the 38 seasons since joining the NBA, the Spurs have won 20 division titles, six conference titles and four NBA Championships.
The Spurs joined the NBA when the ABA-NBA merger took place in the summer of 1976. The Spurs, like the three other teams that joined the NBA from ABA, were expected to perform poorly in their first seasons in the new league. San Antonio proved a lot of critics wrong when they went 44-38 during the 1976-1977 season. The Spurs were able to succeed because of the play of All-Star George Gervin, who remains one of the best scorers in NBA history. A Hall of Famer, George Gervin averaged 26.2 points per game throughout his career while solidifying himself as one of the best players to ever play the game. An autographed George Gervin basketball can serve as a centerpiece to any historical NBA memorabilia collection, and because Gervin’s name is brought up next to players like Michael Jordan having this signed basketball is an absolute must.
San Antonio, while led by George Gervin, won five division titles in its first seven seasons in the NBA, but the franchise constantly struggled in the playoffs. It was after the 1985 season that the Spurs traded Gervin to the Chicago Bulls in what would lead to a temporary low-point in franchise history. From 1985 to 1989, the Spurs struggled mightily but caught a break when they were awarded the top pick in the 1987 NBA Draft. With the top selection, the Spurs drafted David Robinson out of the United States Naval Academy – though drafted in ’87; Robinson didn’t make his debut for the Spurs until ’89 because of a two-year commitment he served in the Navy.
Without Robinson, the Spurs hit rock bottom during 1988 when they went an abysmal 21-61. What happened the next season was unthinkable. With Robinson and the additions of Sean Elliot and Terry Cummings, the Spurs pulled of one of the biggest turnarounds in NBA history by going 56-26 just one year removed from being one of the worst teams in basketball. With David Robinson on the team, the Spurs once again became perennial playoff contenders, but their struggles when in the playoffs continued.
A plague of injuries during the 1996 season had the Spurs at the bottom of the NBA once again. The team finished the season a lowly 20-62, but was awarded the top pick in the upcoming draft. With the first pick in the 1997 NBA Draft, San Antonio selected future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan out of Wake Forest University. Duncan and Robinson teamed up to form one of the strongest front courts in the NBA.
With Duncan and Robinson headlining the team, the Spurs finished the lockout-shortened 1999 season with an NBA-best 37-13 record. This Spurs team was just purely dominant, and they continued their dominance through the Western Conference playoffs by winning 11 games and only dropping one en route to their first NBA Finals appearance. The Spurs faced off against the New York Knicks in the Finals in a series that they ended up dominating and winning in just five games. Tim Duncan, who was just in his second season, triumphed over the Knicks and was named NBA Finals MVP for his performance. With the win over the Knicks, Duncan and Robinson finally led the San Antonio Spurs franchise to its first title in history.
San Antonio fielded one of the best teams in franchise history for the 2002-2003 season. The Spurs’ roster featured Duncan, Robinson, second-year player Tony Parker, Stephen Jackson, Bruce Bowen, Steve Kerr and Manu Ginobili. This Spurs team went on to win an NBA-best 62 games and won their third-consecutive division title. Once in the playoffs, San Antonio defeated the Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers, and Dallas Mavericks on its way to the second NBA Finals appearance in franchise history. The Spurs faced off against the New Jersey Nets in the NBA Finals, a series they won easily in six games. San Antonio won its second championship, and Tim Duncan had one of the best seasons in NBA history as he won both the regular season MVP and Finals MVP. David Robinson retired after winning his second championship and has since been named to the NBA Hall of Fame.
After Robinson’s retirement, the Spurs relied on the emergence of Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili to form a “Big 3” next to the already established Tim Duncan. Parker and Ginobili took the next step in their careers, and along with Duncan led the Spurs to two more championships – one in 2005 and another in 2007. The Spurs are currently playing in the 2014 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat, and hope that their established core of Duncan/Parker/Ginobili can team up with young-star Kawhi Leonard to help the team win another title. Investing in an autographed Kawhi Leonard item like this one is a fantastic way to beat out the hype that will surround Leonard as he continues to make a splash in the NBA.
The San Antonio Spurs have represented winning like no other franchise in the NBA. While on their quest for a fifth championship, the Spurs can place themselves next to the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers as some of the teams to win five titles in franchise history. It’s easy to see why the Spurs have a worldwide following and why their memorabilia is some of the most collected. No team comes close to the success San Antonio has enjoyed over the last 15 years and that’s why investing in a franchise that made winning seem easy is always a smart move.
- Tim Duncan Autographed Photos: Tim Duncan is a four-time champion and former NBA MVP. He’s one of the best power forwards to ever play the game of basketball. His height and slim, plus the combination of being fundamentally sound give him advantages on the basketball court that others have found difficult to duplicate. Duncan is already regarded as one of the best big men to ever play in the NBA, and has provided the NBA with a plethora of famous moments in basketball history. With an authentically autographed photo you could be the owner of one of those legendary moments in time. With an autographed Tim Duncan photo fans can commemorate the success of this two-time NBA MVP and preserve images of the Spurs legend’s greatest moments, like Duncan hoisting the MVP trophy and iconic jump shots.
- David Robinson Signed Basketballs: Better known as “The Admiral,” David Robinson dominated the NBA throughout his 14-year career. Robinson was a 10-time All-Star and won the NBA MVP in 1995, so it’s needless to say he was one of the best players to ever do it. Robinson’s memorabilia is what provides NBA collectors with historical context when they add his items to their collection. A signed David Robinson basketball would be a great addition to any NBA memorabilia collection. Each ball features a rare David Robinson autograph that holds Hall of Fame value and many also include an inscription of his famous nickname, “The Admiral”.
- Tony Parker Autographed Jerseys: Tony Parker is one of the premier point guards in the NBA today. He is a six-time All-Star and three-time champion, on top of the fact that he was named the MVP of the 2007 NBA Finals. Parker, who also plays for the French National Team, has a worldwide following and fans across the globe flock toward his collectibles. With the addition on an autographed Tony Parker jersey, fans and collectors can add a piece of memorabilia to their collection that will stand the test of time and continue to build value as the Spurs star played continues to solidify his place in NBA history.
- Manu Ginobili Plaques: Ginobili will go down in NBA history as one of the best sixth men ever. He won the Sixth Man of the Year award in 2008, and has consistently provided his team with what it takes to win. Ginobili is dedicated to the Spurs, considering he could have played a starting role elsewhere, but instead chose to build a legendary trio around Tim Duncan and Tony Parker. No San Antonio Spurs memorabilia collection is complete if it does not commemorate Manu Ginobili. A collage that commemorates the success that Ginobili, Duncan and Parker have had together is also an iconic piece that preserves a remarkable era in NBA history. Complete your Spurs collection with all of the Big Three that won multiple championships and changed the game as fans know it with unique Manu Ginobili memorabilia.