It’s a word that’s revered in professional sports and reserved for the most egregious accomplishments, like the Golden State Warriors’ red-hot start to the 2015–16 season. The Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant recently implored the Warriors to “make history” and the Warriors responded that they are going to chase history, including Bryant’s accomplishments.
However, in typical Spurs fashion (and preference), few are paying attention to those who have already made it–and keep doing so.
In the current season alone, the Spurs have added team and individual ink to both franchise and league record books.
The team currently boasts the second-best home winning streak in the league, with a 33-game string dating back to March. The current 24–0 home game streak is the best since the Houston Rockets in 1985–86. Their current 36–5 record, ahead of Thursday’s game against the Phoenix Suns, marks the second-best start in franchise history.
The Spurs are one of two teams this season which have won at least 36 of their first 42 games–the first time this has occurred in NBA history.
With the Spurs win, this is now the 1st season in NBA history in which 2 teams have won at least 36 of their first 42 games (@EliasSports).
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 18, 2016
The fact that they are outscoring opponents by an average of 14.21 points per game (according to Basketball Reference), which is the largest in league history, has something to do with that.
Then there are the accolades of the cogs that make this silver-and-black wheel turn.
Earlier this season, the triumvirate of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker became the winningest trio in NBA history with 541 wins on Nov. 1 with a victory over the Boston Celtics. In a twist of irony, The “Big Three” surpassed the legendary Larry Bird/Kevin McHale/Robert Parish trio of the Celtics, who had 540 wins.
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) November 1, 2015
That game also saw Duncan and iconic head coach Gregg Popovich, arguably the best “bromance” in the league, became the winningest player-coach duo in the NBA with 953 wins. They lead the duos of Jerry Sloan–John Stockton and Sloan-Karl Malone, all formerly of the Utah Jazz.
Speaking of Pop: he passed Rick Adelman on Dec. 14 to reach eighth on the list of all-time league coaching wins, thanks to a 118–81 showing over the Utah Jazz. Pop also has the third-best winning percentage for anyone who has coached at least 500 games.
— NBA (@NBA) December 15, 2015
The ever-savvy Ginobili celebrated his 900th regular-season game suiting up for the Spurs when they hosted the Cleveland Cavaliers in an exciting 99–95 home win. He is the 36th player that was drafted in the second round to ever to do so. The milestone amazed Ginobili, who never thought he’d last this long.
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) January 15, 2016
Parker reached his 6,000 career assist on Nov. 15 against the Philadelphia 76ers. He managed to achieve this while reeling from the ISIS attacks the day before in Paris.
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) November 15, 2015
Danny Green, he of the “Tarheel Triple,” made franchise history on Jan. 7 when he surpassed retired Spur Bruce Bowen for the number of three-pointers made. Green now ranks second in Spurs history with 662 made threes.
Danny Green has passed Bruce Bowen for 2nd in 3-pointers in Spurs history Green now has 662 threes as a Spur pic.twitter.com/OTxFQHBtOg
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 7, 2016
Then there’s “The Klaw” himself. On Nov. 19, Kawhi Leonard became the second-fastest player in league history to reach 200 wins, doing so in 262 games. He is second only to A.C. Green, who managed the same feat in 259 games.
Even one of the newest Spurs, Boban Marjanovic, garnered an entry into the record books. His 12 points in 15 minutes or less on Dec. 30 against the Phoenix Suns, has been entered into franchise lore.
Boban Marjanovic is the first player in Spurs franchise history to record at least 12 rebounds in 15 minutes or less.
— Jordan Howenstine (@AirlessJordan) December 31, 2015
And of course, there’s Duncan. The Big Fundamental. Old Man Riverwalk. The Cruzan Caveat (my personal nickname for him–if it catches on, remember who started it!).
Where do we begin? Despite his reduced role this season, the glue that holds the Spurs together has put together an impressive showing so far in his 19th, and possibly final, year.
- Reached 26,000 career points on Oct. 31, 2015.
— NBA (@NBA) November 1, 2015
- Passed Robert Parish for seventh place on the all-time rebounds list in a Nov. 11 win over the Portland Trail Blazers
— NBA (@NBA) November 12, 2015
- Passed retired teammate David Robinson for fifth place in all-time blocks, also in the Nov. 15 win against the Sixers.
- Won the Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award for the 2014–15 season.
Duncan also earned the dubious distinctions of:
- Being named to 15 All-Defensive NBA Teams, but never winning Defensive Player of the Year.
San Antonio’s Tim Duncan: A record 15 selections to the NBA’s All-Defensive Team … but ZERO Defensive Player of the Year awards
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) December 27, 2015
Guess what: we still have 40 games left in the regular season. Plenty of time to make more magic happen.
If you want to toss in the offseason, we can add Becky Hammon to this list. Hammon was the first female coach–period–to win a championship in the Spurs’ Las Vegas Summer League dominance.
The Spurs are the living embodiment of a basic tenet of hip-hop culture: Don’t talk about it; be about it. Or, to keep it even more succinct: Show and prove.
Sometimes it’s a head-scratcher to figure out how the Spurs continue to be great, but favor ain’t fair. That’s what happens when you don’t chase history: history comes to you and decides to stay a while.
Originally published at hoopshabit.com on January 20, 2016.