San Antonio Spurs

San Antonio Spurs Big 3 Ties Record for Most Playoff Wins by Any Trio

PORTLAND, OR - MAY 12:  Manu Ginobili #20, Tony Parker #9 and Tim Duncan #21 of the San Antonio Spurs sit on the bench in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Portland Trail Blazers during the 2014 NBA Playoffs on May 12, 2014 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
Sam Forencich/Getty Images
Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistMay 20, 2014

Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker win. More specifically, they win playoff games.

It's all they know how to do.

Against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals Monday night, the San Antonio Spurs' Big Three won again. This time, though, their lone victory put them in the NBA record books, per ESPN Stats & Info:

Wow.

Even now, multiple championships in hand, San Antonio's Big Three is sometimes overlooked. The Spurs themselves are overlooked. But what this Spurs team has done with Duncan, Ginobili and Parker remains incredible.

The trio has been together since 2002-03. During that time, the Spurs have never won under 60 percent of their regular-season games. They've made 12 consecutive playoff appearances. Seven Western Conference Finals appearances. Four NBA Finals appearances.

They've won three championships. 

Not to diminish the exploits of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Cooper, but you just don't see that type of sustained success anymore. As Ball Don't Lie's Eric Freeman notes, the Los Angeles Lakers triumvirate did win five championships between 1980-89 and failed to make the NBA Finals just once. 

But as he also explains, what Duncan, Ginobili and Parker have done together is arguably more impressive:

Nevertheless, what the Spurs have done is arguably just as impressive, particularly when you consider that Duncan, Parker and Ginobili have been the team's top three scorers for all but their first and most recent two seasons together and figure to team up in at least one more postseason. Plus, their careers have occurred over a period of widespread player movement — it's pretty much unheard of for any three teammates to play together in 12 consecutive seasons.

Of course, this isn't a time for comparisons, or even reminiscing. San Antonio's Big Three is still together. They're still winning. 

Following their Game 1 win over Oklahoma City, the Spurs are now just three victories away from their fifth NBA Finals appearance of the Big Three era, which is unequivocally absurd. After all these years, they're still a powerhouse, constantly reminding you that neither time nor conventional wisdom can rattle their cage or fleece them of their dominance.

And they're not done. There's still time for San Antonio's trio to make noise. There's still time for them to win yet another championship.

The future, however abbreviated it ends up being, is still bright.

“We did what we always do,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said after Game 1, per the San Antonio Express-News' Jeff McDonald. “At this point in the season you have to be who you are. You can't change your stripes.” 

Twelve years into the Big Three era, changing who they are is something the Spurs needn't do.

 

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices