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Let’s Take a Look Back at the Spurs Big Three Era

Scott Morris | July 8, 2023
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The San Antonio Spurs have won five championships in total, four of which came after 2000. They have been one of the most successful teams this decade and competed with the dynasty team of the Lakers. Their Big Three, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili, played a significant part in it. 

Tim Duncan was an NBA champion in 1999, and he also won the Finals MVP award and already had a front-court partnership with David Robinson; they were known as the Twin Towers. So, Duncan was already really successful in the NBA, but the other two were not. 

 The Spurs drafted Tony Parker in the 2001 draft and played as a backup for Antonio Daniels. Later in the season, he became the starting point guard and led in assists and steals, earning him All-Rookie first team that season. 

Manu Ginóbili was successful outside of the United States and played for seven years internationally. He joined Spurs in the 2002-03 season, and the Big Three was formed that went on to dominate for years to come. 


First championship

Their first championship came in the same year that the trio was formed. The Lakers were bossing the NBA as they had three-peated the NBA title and had won the last two postseason series against the Spurs. The Spurs finished with a record of 60-22, and the trio was already showing what they were capable of; Tim Duncan was leading the charts averaging 23.3 points, Tony Parker was averaging 15.5 points, and Manu Ginóbili was averaging 7.7 points. Overall, the trio scored almost fifty points in every game. This time the Spurs got the better of the Lakers in the second round of the playoffs. In the conference finals, they defeated the Dallas Mavericks in six games and reached the NBA finals against the Brooklyn Nets, and the trio did not disappoint as they closed out the series in six games. Duncan was once again the finals MVP. After the season one half of the Twin Towers, David Robinson retired


Second Championship

They lost to the Lakers the following season due to the famous Derick Fisher’s shot. But in the season after that, Spurs finished second in the conference and defeated the Nuggets, Seattle Supersonics, whom against Ginóbili scored his playoff career-high 39 points, and the Phoenix Suns en route to the NBA finals. The finals went down to the wire in a seven-game series. In game seven, Spurs won 81-74, the Big Three’s second championship. Duncan was again crucial for the Spurs and won the MVP finals award. 


Third Championship

After being eliminated by the Mavericks in 2005-06, the Spurs finished third in the western conference. Again, the trio kept delivering in the big games and reached the NBA finals against the Cavaliers, led by a young Lebron James, who led in postseason total points and assists. Still, in the finals, Tony Parker was the best man among the two teams as he led his team to their third title in five years by winning the Finals MVP.


The fourth and final championship

The Spurs continued to qualify for the playoffs but had to wait long for another title in the Big Three’s Era. 

In the 2013-14 season, the Spurs finished with a record of 60-22 and had home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. In the first round against the Mavericks, the series went to game seven surprisingly, but the Spurs did win game seven with Parker’s 32 points. Next up, they faced the Blazers, which was an easy win in five games, and then they defeated Oklahoma Thunders in the conf. Finals to reach the NBA Finals two years in a row and against the same team, the Heats. Spurs won in five games and their fifth championship (The Big Three’s Fourth). This time, none of the Big Three won the Finals MVP award; Kawhi Leonard won it. 

The Big Three played together for two more seasons, and after that, Tim Duncan announced his retirement after a very successful nineteen-year career. 


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