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Legendary Spurs Trio Moves Past '80s LA Lakers for 2nd on Historic Wins List

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Legendary Spurs Trio Moves Past '80s LA Lakers for 2nd on Historic Wins List
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili have made a lot of history throughout their legendary careers with the San Antonio Spurs, and they're not done yet. 

After combining for 23 points in a 119-85 blowout victory over the overmatched Los Angeles Lakers—ironically enough, for reasons you'll find out in just a second—the Spurs trio now has the second-most wins of any triumvirate in NBA history. 

Heading into the game, they were tied at 490 with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and Michael Cooper, but no longer. Here's the updated leaderboard, which leaves them trailing only the Boston Celtics Big Three of the 1980s:

  1. Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, 540 wins for the Boston Celtics
  2. Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, 491 wins for the San Antonio Spurs
  3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Cooper, Magic Johnson, 490 wins for the Los Angeles Lakers
  4. K.C. Jones, Sam Jones, Bill Russell, 468 wins for the Boston Celtics
  5. Sam Jones, Bill Russell, Satch Sanders, 463 wins for the Boston Celtics 

Mike Powell/Getty Images

It's a bit of history that Parker won't soon overlook, as he told NBA.com's Fran Blinebury before the contest—and I use that term loosely—with L.A.: 

A great run and it feels very special. I feel very blessed to play with Timmy and Manu and I feel very lucky and privileged to be named next to Magic Johnson and Kareem and Michael Cooper.

I grew up watching them and never thought in my wildest dreams that my name would be next to them. It’s crazy just to think about it. Once I retire, I can look at it and enjoy it. Now I try to stay focused on the season, but it’s unbelievable.

However, it gets even more impressive when you allow Gregg Popovich to factor into the equation. No trio has ever won this consistently with such a constant presence pacing the sidelines. 

"Toss in Popovich as the only coach that any of them have ever played for in the NBA and the stability and constancy of the Spurs is a little more understandable, yet it remains unprecedented," writes Blinebury.

"The Lakers were coached by Jack McKinney, Paul Westhead and Pat Riley during their run in the ’80s. The Celtics were led to their three championships in that decade by Bill Fitch (1981) and K.C. Jones (1984 and 1986)."

Just to take you down a trip through memory lane, here's a shot of the three from the second year they spent together, all the way back in 2003-04: 

ERIC GAY/Associated Press

Now, here's another from just about halfway through their run in the same uniforms (2008): 

Matt York/Associated Press

And now, the current version: 

Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

They've aged rather significantly, and you need look no further than Manu's hair for evidence. But they haven't stopped winning.

Nor will they in the future. 

The Boston trio—Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish—now has a 49-game lead over Parker, Duncan and Ginobili. All it would take is finishing the current campaign in strong fashion and then spending one more healthy season together. 

Doubting the Spurs has always been a mistake, so don't fall for that trap here. 

By this time next season, we could very well be posting another article to honor the San Antonio trio for taking over the top spot in NBA history. 

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