The San Antonio Spurs have been the model franchise for around two decades. They have consecutively been in the playoffs every year since 1998. This long success has included five NBA championships, 19 years of winning 50-plus games, and six conference championships.
But how did the NBA looked the last time the team was not in the playoffs?
The last time the Spurs were not in the playoffs was 1997. Back in 1997, the average price of gas was $1.22 and the average monthly rent was $576.00 according to thepeoplehistory.com.
There was no Twitter, Facebook or Instagram back in 1997. As a matter of fact, social media was a brand new thing as the first recognizable social media by the name of SixDegrees was invented in 1997. With this site, it gave people the ability to upload profiles and become friends with other users.
How the NBA looked in 1997
In the 1996-1997 season, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson and Steve Nash were playing in their rookie seasons. Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls were still owning the 1990s as they were coming off winning their fourth championship and were on the quest for number five.
Karl Malone would go on the win the regular season MVP award and help lead the Utah Jazz to the finals that season along with John Stockton.
Since the Spurs last missed the playoffs, there have been a total of five teams have either changed names of their team or moved.
The NBA at the time was unrecognizable as currently there are no players in the league back from 1997 that are still in the league today. Players such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry were not even in high school the last time the Spurs missed the playoffs. In fact, Curry’s dad, Dell Curry, was in the league playing for the Charlotte Hornets.
The last non-playoff season
The season the Spurs missed the playoffs was the teams 21st season in the NBA and 30th as a franchise. The team signed Dominique Wilkins and Vernon Maxwell.
The team was without franchise player David Robinson who was out with an injury as he only played six games that season. They fired coach Bob Hill after 18 games and replaced him with Gregg Popovich who was the general manager.
The Spurs finished with a 20-62 record which was their worst in franchise history. This would lead to them grabbing the first overall pick in the draft. With that pick, they would go on to draft Tim Duncan.
This could have been a blessing in disguise. If the team made the playoffs the would not have grabbed Tim Duncan in the draft. If is did not happen the team might not have not had the constant success they have now.
At current pass, the Spurs are 14-14 which is good for 10th in the Western Conference. Despite injuries, they are still only five games away from the first seed in a packed conference. We shall see if they can make their 21st-straight playoff appearance.
Gambling this season? Want to try it just to see what it feels like? Go to MyBookie.ag and use promo code ARMCHAIR25 at checkout. They will match your deposit dollar for dollar. Putting in $100? You’ll now have $200.