It's a great time to be a San Antonio Spurs fan.
On the eve of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony, former Spurs guard Tony Parker, coach Gregg Popovich and former assistant Becky Hammon are set to enter the hoop hall on Saturday.
Parker, 41, a four-time NBA champion, spent 17 of his 18 NBA seasons with the Spurs. When he entered the league, he was just the third French player to play in the NBA. In 2007, he became the first European to win Finals MVP. Parker had his No. 9 retired by the Spurs in 2009 and will be presented by former teammates Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan.
Popovich, 74, the winningest and longest tenured coach in NBA history, has been a fixture in San Antonio for 27 seasons. He led the Spurs to a playoff berth for a record 22 consecutive seasons from 1997 to 2019. Coach Pop also guided the U.S. men's national team to a gold medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Nearly a month prior to his enshrinement, Popovich signed an $80 million deal that will keep him in San Antonio for five more years. He has been at the helm for all five of the franchise's NBA titles and will be presented by four key players that he coached: Duncan, Ginobili, David Robinson and Parker.
Now that Gregg Popovich leads the NBA in all-time wins, Michael Wilbon pays tribute to the legendary coach.
Following a prolific WNBA career with the New York Liberty and San Antonio Stars, Hammon joined the Spurs as assistant coach in 2014. She was the first woman to hold a full-time coaching position with an NBA team. She continued to make history throughout her tenure in the "Alamo City," becoming the first woman to serve as a head coach during the NBA summer league in 2015 and the first woman to act as head coach during an NBA regular-season game. She is now head coach of the reigning WNBA champion Las Vegas Aces and will be presented by Sheryl Swoopes and Teresa Weatherspoon.
The Spurs' recent streak of fortune continued in May when they won the 2023 NBA draft lottery. That lucky bounce secured their right to draft one of the most popular prospects of all time in Victor Wembanyama, a 7-foot-5 French phenom with an 8-foot wingspan.
Victor Wembanyama tears up after learning the Spurs have selected him with the first pick in the NBA draft.
The 19-year-old superstar averaged 20.7 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.0 blocks in the regular season with the LNB Pro A French League's Metropolitans 92. He led the league in the aforementioned categories and swept the honors of MVP, Defensive Player of the Year and Best Young Player while leading Mets 92 to the French league finals.
Wemby played in two NBA 2K24 Summer League games with the Spurs, including a 27-point, 12-rebound effort in his second contest after struggling in his debut.
Despite an exciting offseason, San Antonio holds 2024 title odds of +20000 and the 26th slot in ESPN's NBA Power Rankings, so this is likely the end of an exciting run for Spurs fans, but it's certainly been a historic one.