Slam Magazine recently released a collector's issue naming their Top 75 NBA teams of all time and five San Antonio Spurs teams made it into the top 45.
In a seemingly impossible task, the staff looked at every iteration of every team and based their opinions on several criteria to come up with which ones were the best of the best. Given their success since 1999, it would be a surprise if multiple Spurs teams didn't make it on the list. Still, when you look at how often they're overlooked, that wouldn't be too surprising.
Fortunately, the five title-winning versions of the Spurs all made the list, with the placement of each team falling as follows.
1. 45th: 1998-99 San Antonio Spurs
37-13 Regular season, 15-2 Playoffs
2. 42nd: 2002-03 San Antonio Spurs
60-22 Regular Season, 16-8 Playoffs
3. 32nd: 2004-05 San Antonio Spurs
59-23 Regular season, 16-7 Playoffs
4. 27th: 2006-07 San Antonio Spurs
58-24 Regular season, 16-4 Playoffs
5. 18th: 2013-14 San Antonio Spurs
61-20 Regular season, 16-7 Playoffs
According to Slam, the latest championship-winning team was the best Spurs team ever and the 18th-best team to ever hit the hardwood, falling just behind the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls.
There's a pretty big oversight in the list too, however, as the 2012-13 Miami Heat that were seconds away from defeat in the NBA Finals at the hands of the Spurs made it all the way to 10th on the list. That'll be a subject for another day though.
The 2007 Spurs that swept the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals finished second among all Spurs teams at 27th while the 2005 Spurs finished five spots later at 32nd. Rounding out the list are the 2003 Spurs at 42nd and 1999 Spurs at 45th.
As someone who watched the Spurs throughout all five of these runs, I don't have a big problem with the order of where each team landed here. I might move up the 2005 Spurs into the second slot given how dominant Manu Ginobili was that year, but then again, Tony Parker was pretty dominant in 2007 also.
Slam is still releasing their full list digitally over the next few weeks in parts, but you can find the magazine with all 75 teams at stores now.