Worst Start to a Season That Ended in a Championship

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1999 San Antonio Spurs

1999 San Antonio Spurs

Start of the Season: 6-8

Rest of Season: 31-5

Hot Streak: Won nine straight following the 6-8 start.

The Spurs looked nothing like a championship team at the beginning of the lockout-shortened 1999 season. They were adjusting to Sean Elliott being back in the lineup after missing much of the previous season with injuries, an ineffective Jaren Jackson being replaced by Mario Elie, teams keying in on Tim Duncan, and David Robinson struggling to carry the load. Not only did it result in a 6-8 start but Elie criticized Robinson for not playing with enough passion. Robinson shot back. “It's not like Mario and I have had time to get to know each other intimately. But I don't really care what he says, as long as he wants to win.”

The Admiral continued to lead by example, especially on the defensive end while Duncan learned to adjust to double teams, and the Spurs quickly turned their fortunes around. The defense of the twin towers was too much for their foes as the Spurs held opponents to a league-low 40 percent shooting. After losing to the Timberwolves and Lakers twice each in those first 14 games, the Spurs ousted both in the first two rounds of the playoffs before defeating the Blazers and then the Knicks to capture the NBA title.

Top 10 Worst Starts to End in a Championship



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