The San Antonio Spurs just missed the NBA playoffs for the the first time since 1997

August 14, 2020

Rocky Widner

Want to hear something crazy? The San Antonio Spurs just missed the NBA playoffs. OK, OK. We’ll back it up a bit. The San Antonio Spurs just missed the playoffs for the first time since 1997, the year before they drafted Tim Duncan number one overall and probably before some of you were even born. If it weren’t for Damian Lillard’s Thanos-like tear across the galaxy, this would be the number one basketball story of the week.

Now we're sure 1997 sounds like a long time ago—it was literally a different century and undeniably a different world—but to truly grasp the scope of 23 simple, solid, fundamental years of basketball excellence, we first need some context. Here are ‘97 notables for the old anecdote bank.

“MMMbop” by Hanson was the number one song in America.

‘The Lost World: Jurassic Park’ was the number one movie (‘Titanic’ wouldn’t be released until December.)

Nobody knew Monica Lewinsky’s name yet.

Princess Diana was still alive.

‘Grand Theft Auto’ still looked like this . . .


Oh, and the Patriots had just lost Super Bowl XXXI to the Packers, which is worth pointing out because the Patriots, widely regarded as the American sports dynasty of the 21st century, currently own a playoff streak of 11 paltry seasons . . . and it’s still the longest in NFL history. Greg Popovich’s Spurs MORE THAN DOUBLED that. During their postseason streak, the Pats won three Super Bowls (including three before), while the Spurs won five NBA Finals during theirs. Make of all that what you will.

However you feel about the Spurs it's not a stretch to say that the greatest dynasty in modern American sports ended on Thursday night. There is almost no question we will never another one like it, so before you take that first sip of that first beer this weekend, remember to pour some out for David, Tim, Tony, Manu, Kawhi, and the boys. Lord knows they deserve it.