Sat, 19 Sep 2020

Spurs' record-tying 22-season playoff streak ends

Field Level Media
14 Aug 2020, 12:55 GMT+10

The San Antonio Spurs' record-tying streak of 22 straight postseason appearances came to an end on Thursday.

The streak officially ended just minutes before the Spurs took the floor to play the Utah Jazz. The Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns each won their games earlier in the day and that eliminated San Antonio from contention for the Western Conference play-in berth.

That leaves the Spurs out of the playoffs for the first time since 1997. They are tied with the Syracuse Nationals/Philadelphia 76ers franchise, which also made 22 straight postseason appearances from 1950-71.

San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich, who guided the team to five NBA titles during the span, expressed that he doesn't really care much about the streak ending.

"It means a lot to a lot of people, probably," Popovich told reporters after the 118-112 loss to the Jazz. "I don't dwell on the past. I don't know who won the baseball championship from year to year. Four years ago, I don't know who won the NBA championship. That stuff is not important.

"What's important is the moment. You do what you've gotta do and then you move on. Looking at the past doesn't do much good.

"Any success we've had is because we've had good players."

The Spurs (32-39) also finished with their first losing season since 1996-97, a campaign in which Popovich replaced Bob Hill as coach after 18 games.

The dynasty included 18 straight seasons of 50 or more wins. The first NBA title came in 1999 with the others being won in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014.

San Antonio also lost in the NBA Finals in 2013.

Popovich reiterated that history doesn't mean much to him, preferring to focus on his current club playing well in the restarted season near Orlando. The Spurs went 5-3.

"I'm more excited about this than anything you guys are talking about -- successes and non-successes. Or streaks or whatever you're talking about ending," Popovich said. "I could care less about that. I'm thrilled with the way they played here. They had no shot to get into this thing. They willed themselves into it to have this opportunity."

The Nationals/76ers won two titles during their long run of success. Syracuse won the 1955 NBA title and the 76ers earned the crown in 1967. The franchise moved to Philadelphia for the 1963-64 season.

--Field Level Media

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