The San Antonio Spurs won their first of four NBA titles in 1999 over the New York Knicks in a lockout-shortened season. That led to ex-NBA coach Phil Jackson claim the Spurs' title deserved an asterisk since it came in an truncated season. Since then, that label is always mentioned when looking back at the Spurs' first title and draws the ire of Spurs fans whenever it is thrown in their face.
Fast forward to this season and the Spurs are looking strong, and are on the verge of sweeping the Utah Jazz in their first-round series as their march to a fifth championship continues in another shortened season affected by this summer's lockout.
And should the Spurs win it all this season, the asterisk talk will more than likely be brought up yet again.
However, the Miami Heat are also looking like a legit champion and could be the final team standing in June and they to might be given the unfortunate label should they win it all.
But in LeBron James' opinion, a short season doesn't take away from any title, and says the Spurs' '99 title should not be lessened because of the short season.
“I don’t discredit the effort San Antonio had when they won it in ’99 after the lockout,” LeBron said. “We all know Gregg Popovich is an unbelievable coach and Tim Duncan is an unbelievable player. It shouldn’t matter. They won multiple (titles) after that so are we going to say that first one wasn’t good enough? I don’t think that’s true at all.”
What many people forget is that the playoffs in the 1999 truncated season , the playoffs were a normal format. San Antonio had to push through the playoffs like all teams in the playoff field. I am sure the Knicks, Blazers, Heat, Timberwolves and all other teams in the '99 playoffs would have loved to have taken the title then and scoff at the asterisk label.
Moreover, Spurs fans cannot let Jackson's barb last forever. I am positive if he had won the NBA title in 1999, he would have glorified it and not discounted it at all.
What do you have to say Spurs fans? Are you still bothered by the whole asterisk talk?
Le Bron made that statement because he thinks they're winning it this year, in a lockout season. In oher words, should they win, their title shouldn't have an asterisk either.
Why have a season at all? Why even play for a championship? Just make Lockout Seasons a 'draw' season and whoever gets the number 1 seed gets a top 5 pick in the draft.
Why should the league allow for a championship game if they plan on demoralizing the champions after the fact with an asterisk? It would be different if the lockout season somehow gave us a weird turnout like the Nuggets vs the Hawks in the finals - but the better teams ALWAYS make it. Before the season started, OKC. CHI and MIA were the obvious favorites Who were the favorites after the lockout season ended and teams are entering the playoffs? OKC, CHI and MIA.
So I call bullshit on the asterisk. The better team would win whether we played 30 game season or a 100 game season.
It's common to hear those negative comments from others who don't share the same ideals as the San Antonio Spurs organization foundation is build on. Best is to ignore them and do our job which to work hard, play hard and win titles.
Not really. Spurs will always be hated on for not playing a certain way or not having a flamboyant superstar. It's just natural that people like Jackson and Knicks fans will find any way to discredit the Spurs success. The 1999 Title was legitimate. I didn't hear any team in the '99 regular season give up and say: "hey, the schedule is too short and hectic therefore, we aren't even going to try to win in the playoffs because this season shouldn't count." No, everyone tried and the Spurs came out ahead. The lockout was just an excuse for them to not acknowledge the true Spurs greatness. If anything, teams should be given MORE credit for winning in a lockout season because of the stresses of the schedule and lack of pre-season.
I am more worried about people looking at the 2007 Championship when Horry's late foul caused A'mare and Diaw to get suspended. That may have won us the series, and it may not have. Who knows? That to me though, is a more legit claim against the Spurs than '99 lockout.