San Antonio Spurs Team History
While the Chaparrals had been modestly successful on the court, they were sinking financially by their third season, largely because the ownership group refused to spend much money on the team. After missing the playoffs for the first time in their existence in the 1972 – 1973 season, nearly all of the owners wanted out. A group of 36 San Antonio businessmen, led by Angelo Drossos, John Schaefer and Red McCombs worked out a “lend-lease” deal with the Dallas ownership group. Drossos and his group would lease the team for three years and move it to San Antonio, and agreed to return the team to Dallas if no purchase occurred by 1975. After the deal was signed, the team was renamed the San Antonio Gunslingers. However, before they even played a game the name was changed to Spurs. The team’s primary colors were changed from the red, white, and blue of the Chaparrals to the now familiar black, silver and white motif of the Spurs.
Even though playoff success would elude the team, the Spurs had suddenly found themselves among the top teams in the ABA. Moreover, their gaudy attendance figures made them very attractive to the NBA, despite the size of the market. Although San Antonio had over 650,000 people at the time and has since grown to become the seventh-largest city in the United States, it has always been a medium-sized market because the surrounding suburban and rural areas aren’t much larger than the city itself. In June 1976, the ABA-NBA merger took place, moving San Antonio’s sole professional sports franchise into a new league. The Spurs, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers and New York Nets moved to the NBA for the 1976 – 1977 season.
McCombs’ first entry into sports came in 1972, when he joined Angelo Drossos and several other San Antonio businessmen in leasing the struggling Dallas Chaparrals of the American Basketball Association and moving them to San Antonio as the Spurs. The Spurs proved to be a runaway hit, leading Drossos and McCombs to tear up the lease agreement and buy the team outright after only one year.
Two years after taking the Spurs into the NBA, McCombs sold off his stake in the Spurs
NBA Finals – 1999
The 1999 NBA Finals was the championship round of the shortened 1998 – 1999 NBA season or the 1999 season. The San Antonio Spurs of the Western Conference took on the New York Knicks of the Eastern Conference for the title, with the Spurs holding home court advantage. The series was played under a best-of-seven format, with the first team to collect four game victories winning the series.
NBA Finals – 2003
The 2003 NBA Finals was the championship round of the 2002 – 2003 NBA season. The San Antonio Spurs of the Western Conference took on the New Jersey Nets of the Eastern Conference for the title, with the Spurs holding home court advantage. The series was played under a best-of-seven format. The Spurs won the series 4 games to 2. Spurs Forward Tim Duncan was named the Most Valuable Player of the championship series.
NBA Finals – 2005
The 2005 NBA Finals was the championship round of the 2004 – 2005 National Basketball Association season. The San Antonio Spurs of the Western Conference faced the Detroit Pistons of the Eastern Conference for the title, with the Spurs holding home court advantage and the Pistons as defending champions. The series was played under a best-of-seven format. Unlike the previous three rounds, the team with home court advantage hosted games one, two, six, and seven if all were necessary. It also marked the Pistons first NBA Finals loss to a team other than the Lakers since 1988.
NBA Finals – 2007
The 2007 NBA Finals was the championship series of the 2006 – 2007 National Basketball Association season, and was the conclusion of the 2007 NBA Playoffs. The best-of-seven series was played between the Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs and the Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers. This was Cleveland’s first trip to the NBA Finals in their franchise history and San Antonio’s fourth. The Spurs swept the Cavaliers 4-0. Tony Parker was named the series’ MVP. The series was televised on ABC under the ESPN on ABC branding, and produced low television ratings.
NBA Finals – 2014
The 2014 NBA Finals was the championship series of the 2013 – 2014 season of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the conclusion of the season’s playoffs. The Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs defeated the Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat in five games (4–1) for the Spurs’ fifth NBA championship in the franchise’s history. The Spurs outscored the Heat in the series by the largest average point differential (14.0) in Finals history. San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard was named the Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP), and became the third-youngest recipient of the award.
The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. The Spurs compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member club of the league’s Western Conference Southwest Division. The team plays its home games at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.
The Spurs are one of four former American Basketball Association (ABA) teams to remain intact in the NBA after the 1976 ABA–NBA merger and the only former ABA team to have won an NBA championship. The Spurs’ five NBA championships are the fourth most in history behind only the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, and Chicago Bulls. The Spurs currently rank first among active franchises for the highest winning percentage in NBA history, and have a winning head-to-head regular season record against every active NBA franchise.
Dallas – San Antonio
1976 – Present National Basketball Association
1967 – 1976 American Basketball Association
1973 – Present San Antonio Spurs
1970 – 1971 Texas Chaparrals
1967 – 1970, 1971 – 1973 Dallas Chaparrals
Spurs – A group of San Antonio investors purchased the Dallas Chaparrals from the American Basketball Association in 1973 and promptly changed the team name to the San Antonio Gunslingers. Before the Gunslingers played their first game in their new home, the ownership group renamed the team the Spurs. Some accounts indicate that the name was voted upon in a name the team contest. It may have just been a coincidence that one of the team’s main investors, Red McCombs, was born in Spur, Texas.
NBA Championships 5
2014, 2007, 2005, 2003, 1999
ABA Championships 0
2005 – Present AT&T Center
2002 – 2005 SBC Center
1993 – 2002 Alamodome
1973 – 1993 HemisFair Arena
1967 – 1973 Dallas Memorial Auditorium
1993 – Present Peter Holt
1988 – 1993 Red McCombs
1973 – 1988 Angelo Drossos
1967 – 1973 Bob Folsom
00 Johnny Moore
6 Avery Johnson
12 Bruce Bowen
13 James Silas
32 Sean Elliott
44 George Gervin
50 David Robinson
1983 – Present The Coyote
*Blue is this team’s history