Why You Shouldn’t Give Up On the Spurs

In their fourth year without a playoff appearance, the Spurs are down but never out

I have been a Spurs fan since I was born. There’s no other way to be when your Nana loves all “the boys” and Coach “Pop” Popovich even more (as kids, we pretended he was our grandfather, calling him “Poppa”). Of course, when I was little, it was pretty easy to love the Spurs. They had nabbed their first NBA Championship with the help of the “Twin Towers” of veteran David Robinson and newcomer Tim Duncan in 1999. They continued their success by winning the coveted national title again in 2003 (the year I was born much to my Nana’s delight), in 2005 and once more in 2007 (the year my brother was born, another double win for my Nana).

Even when they didn’t win, they were among the best of all time. It would take them another seven years to nab the trophy again in 2014, beating the Miami Heat dynasty and halting a three-peat in its tracks. In those years, being a Spurs fan was like a walk in the park because we could rest assured our boys would do well no matter what.

Fast forward nine years and our “Big Three” of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are all retired, hotshot Kawhi Leonard left in disgrace and 65% of our team is under the age of 25. One thing has remained the same though … the presence of arguably the best coach in NBA history: Pop.

Yes, I was raised as a Spurs fan while they were the best in the game, but if there is one thing all Spurs fans know almost as intimately as the players, it’s to trust Pop. We have a young team, we are growing and Pop knows what he’s doing as the winningest coach in NBA history.
We must have patience because Pop is building us a Spurs that will win, and I mean win, in the future. One thing about the Spurs is that even though they are one of the most successful franchises in NBA history, they have never had the flamboyance of a dynasty. They are consistent, not flashy, even if that means these days they are consistently losing.

That consistency will be the recipe for their success, even if it takes some time to show up. Pop’s giving these young talented guys a platform to gel and grow into a winning team. 23-year-old gold medalist Keldon Johnson and 22- year-old shooting guard Devin Vassel both having played four and three seasons for the Spurs respectively are shaping up to be the team’s new reliables. Both have been with the Spurs for their entire young professional careers and have stuck with the team during the current slump.

This reveals the secret ingrained into the culture of the San Antonio Spurs and why I know we will see them back at the top in no time: loyalty. Retired Spurs legends, who oddly but intentionally stayed with the Spurs their entire careers (something Johnson and Vassel are forecasting), are still around the franchise. Robinson is spotted at many games, Ginobili works for the front office and Duncan still attends practices. Pop and the Spurs have built something different, a team full of genuinely good people who are dedicated to the Spurs.

Time will tell if the painstaking process undergoing at the Spurs will pay off for our boys in a few seasons. But I will leave with this, the Spurs are still the most loved NBA franchise regardless of their losing record. I got to attend the Spurs game “Back at Home in the Dome” with Trinity students in January. We got our butts kicked by the Warriors, yet at the same time 68,323 people attended setting an NBA attendance record. Spurs fans filled the entire Alamo Dome because of the roots of our team in our community. So while our boys and Pop work to get back in winning shape, they know we’ve got their back. Go Spurs Go!