1998–99 San Antonio Spurs season

The 1998–99 NBA season was the San Antonio Spurs' 32nd season as a franchise, the team's 26th season in San Antonio, and the team's 23rd season in the National Basketball Association.

During the offseason, the Spurs acquired guard Antonio Daniels from the Vancouver Grizzlies and signed free agents Mario Elie, Steve Kerr and Jerome Kersey. After a promising rookie season from second-year star Tim Duncan, Spurs fans had to wait three-and-a-half months for the season to begin due to a lockout by NBA owners. When the season started, the Spurs posted a 6–8 record in February. However, in March and April, they won 31 of their final 36 games on their way to a league-best 37–13 season record.

In the first round of the playoffs, the Spurs defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves three games to one. In the semifinals, the Spurs' "Twin Towers" of David Robinson and Tim Duncan outplayed Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant as the Spurs swept the Los Angeles Lakers in four straight games. In the Western Conference Finals, the Spurs faced the Portland Trail Blazers. After taking Game One, the Spurs trailed by 17 points in Game Two. However, the Spurs made a fourth-quarter run that culminated with a game-winning three-pointer from Sean Elliott. The Spurs went on to sweep the Trail Blazers, becoming the first former American Basketball Association (ABA) team to play in the NBA Finals.

In the Finals, the Spurs defeated the eighth-seeded New York Knicks in five games. Avery Johnson hit the title-winning shot with 47 seconds left to seal the Spurs' first title in franchise history.

Offseason

On June 24, 1998, the Spurs traded Carl Herrera and first-round draft pick Felipe Lopez to the Vancouver Grizzlies for guard Antonio Daniels. The team also signed free agents Mario Elie, Steve Kerr and Jerome Kersey during the offseason.

NBA Draft

Roster

Roster listing
San Antonio Spurs roster
PlayersCoaches
Pos.No.NameHeightWeightDOB (YYYY-MM-DD)From
G33United StatesDaniels, Antonio6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)205 lb (93 kg)Bowling Green
F/C21United States Virgin IslandsDuncan, Tim (C)6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)250 lb (113 kg)Wake Forest
G/F17United StatesElie, Mario6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)210 lb (95 kg)American International
SF32United StatesElliott, Sean6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)205 lb (93 kg)Arizona
G/F10AustraliaGaze, Andrew Injured6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)205 lb (93 kg)Seton Hall
SG2United StatesJackson, Jaren6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)190 lb (86 kg)Georgetown
PG6United StatesJohnson, Avery5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)175 lb (79 kg)Southern
G4United StatesKerr, Steve6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)175 lb (79 kg)Arizona
SF25United StatesKersey, Jerome6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)215 lb (98 kg)Longwood
F54United StatesKing, Gerard6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)230 lb (104 kg)Nicholls State
C41United StatesPerdue, Will7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)240 lb (109 kg)Vanderbilt
C50United StatesRobinson, David7 ft 1 in (2.16 m)235 lb (107 kg)Navy
PF31United StatesRose, Malik6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)250 lb (113 kg)Drexel
SG11United StatesWilliams, Brandon Injured6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)215 lb (98 kg)Davidson
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured

Roster

Regular season

Season standings


z - clinched division title
y - clinched division title
x - clinched playoff spot

Record vs. opponents

Game log

Regular season

1998–99 game log
Total: 37–13 (Home: 21–4; Road: 16–9)
February: 6–8 (Home: 4–3; Road: 2–5)
March: 14–2 (Home: 6–1; Road: 8–1)
April: 13–3 (Home: 9–0; Road: 4–3)
May: 4–0 (Home: 2–0; Road: 2–0)
1998–99 season schedule

Playoffs

West First Round

(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (8) Minnesota Timberwolves: Spurs win series 3-1

Last Playoff Meeting: This is the first meeting between the Spurs and Timberwolves.

West Conference Semifinals

(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (4) Los Angeles Lakers: Spurs win series 4-0

Last Playoff Meeting: 1995 Western Conference Semifinals (San Antonio won 4-2)

West Conference Finals

(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (2) Portland Trail Blazers: Spurs win series 4-0

Last Playoff Meeting: 1993 Western Conference First Round (San Antonio won 3-1)

Player stats

Legend
  GPGames played  GS Games started MPG Minutes per game
 FG% Field-goal percentage 3P% 3-point field-goal percentage FT% Free-throw percentage
 RPG Rebounds per game APG Assists per game SPG Steals per game
 BPG Blocks per game PPG Points per game

Regular season

Playoffs

NBA Finals

The 1999 NBA Finals saw some firsts for both the Spurs and the opposing New York Knicks.

The Spurs:

  • Became the first former ABA team to play and win in an NBA Finals.
  • Attracted record crowds for the two games at the Alamodome. Attendance was 39,514 for Game 1 and 39,554 for Game 2 (the largest crowd to see an NBA Finals game).
  • Steve Kerr became the first non-Celtic to win four straight championships, as he won titles with the Bulls from 1996 to 1998.

The Knicks became the first (and to this date, the only) 8th seed to ever play in an NBA Finals.

Summary

The following scoring summary is written in a line score format, except that the quarter numbers are replaced by game numbers.

With time running out in Game 5, and the 1999 championship on the line, the Spurs looked to Avery Johnson as he hit a long clutch 2 from the corner with 47 seconds to go, giving the Spurs a 1-point lead. It was considered one of the franchise's best moments since the first 26 years in San Antonio.

Schedule

The Finals were played using a 2-3-2 site format, where the first two and last two games are held at the team with home court advantage. The NBA, after experimenting in the early years, restored this original format for the Finals in 1985. So far, the other playoff series are still running on a 2-2-1-1-1 site format.

Award winners

Uses material from the Wikipedia article 1998–99 San Antonio Spurs season, released under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.