It’s the five worst season records in San Antonio Spurs history.
The San Antonio Spurs are known more for its success than failure, especially since the beginning of the 1990’s. It’s mostly been smooth sailing for the franchise, but not all the time.
The Spurs had some disastrous years in team history. It goes back to the early 1970’s when they were still in the ABA. Whether it was due to injuries, poor play or just a lack of talent, they dealt with a handful of rough seasons. What did it lead to in the win-loss department, and what were the worst records in franchise history?
In the 1970-71 ABA season, the Spurs were known as the Texas Chaparrals. It finished 30-54 and had the worst Defensive Rating of any team (107.7). 10 players that appeared in at least 30 games finished with double-digit points, with Donnie Freeman leading the way at 23.6
In the 1986-87 NBA season, San Antonio finished 28-54. This team was led by Alvin Robertson, one of Walter Berry few years in the league, and an aging Artis Gilmore. There was a positive, however, as the Spurs received the No. 1 overall pick in the 1987 NBA Draft and selected David Robinson. That kind of worked out well.
The 1972-73 season had the Spurs known as the Dallas Chaparrals. It finished 28-56 while featuring future organization great, James Silas. Rich Jones had 22 points per game to lead the team.
When the Spurs selected Robinson in the 1987 NBA Draft, there was a mandatory wait, as he had to do Navy service. So, for the 1988-89 season, the organization was left without him and, once again, finished with one of the worst records in the Association, at 21-61. It led to a mostly terrific 1990’s, however.
Only one Spurs team outdid this, however. It came in the 1996-97 season, as Robinson only played in six games due to injury. An aging Dominque Wilkins, Vinny Del Negro, and Avery Johnson led the team to a 21-61 finish. This earned them the No. 1 overall pick in the 1997 NBA Draft, which produced Tim Duncan and wrote the history books for the next 19 years. It also produced this fun throwback to the 1996-97 season:
What do you remember about these Spurs teams?