Watching the 1999 Finals really reminds one that Tim Duncan joined the Spurs during the David Robinson era. Until Duncan was drafted, the Big 3 of the early 90s would best be defined by Robinson, Sean Elliott, and Avery Johnson.
But by 2003, the transition of power was nearing completion. Sean Elliott had retired and could be seen court side (as he was during the re-airing of the 2003 Finals on Fox Sports Southwest). Avery Johnson had already been through Denver and was now residing in Dallas. Mario Elie, Jaren Jackson, and Jerome Kersey had retired, Antonio Daniels was in Portland.
Other than the twin towers, only Malik Rose has stayed. Steve Kerr also played for the Spurs in 1999 and 2003, but he also spent some time in Portland in between the titles.
Now the Spurs had Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Bruce Bowen, Speedy Claxton and Stephen Jackson, giving the team a younger sheen.
The 2003 Spurs went 60-22 finishing first in the Midwest Division.
Did you watch the 2003 this past week? Were you there? What are your takeaways, now or then?
- Seeing David Robinson end his career with a trophy just warms the heart. Seriously.
- Tim Duncan was robbed of a Finals, game-clenching quadruple-double that would have made him one of five individuals (and one of three Spurs) to record the feat.
- Celebrities- the New York series saw New York celebrities. In 2003, the Spurs had George Strait (who I’ll take as a fan over almost anybody else) and the Dixie Chicks. Both huge country music recording artists, especially at that time, but it kind of feeds into the whole Texas thing. Loved seeing New Jersey so desperate for famous people they talked with Chris Rock who didn’t even really want to be there. I believe his interview involved the words “nothing better to do”.
- Oh, Gawd, if I could never has to watch Jason Kidd blow little kisses to the basket from the free throw line ever again. That reason alone makes me so glad the guy never suited up for the Silver & Black.
- I’d be interested in the New Jersey Nets fan perspective on this era. Seriously, I saw so few Nets games during those back-to-back Finals appearances that I don’t see what made that team good. In this series they were literally a Jason Kidd away from not making the postseason at all.
- Did not know Kenyon Martin was the first overall draft pick. I know he was sick during this series, so I looked a little deeper. Is it me or was he a bust as a first overall? I was not as active a basketball fan, but the 2000 Draft class overall looks pretty bad. Was it the worst?
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