Even though the New England Patriots and the San Antonio Spurs play different style sports professionally and reside in two entirely different types of cities, both franchises are quite similar. Both were forces in the 2000s, each winning three titles each (New England Super bowl champions in 2001, 2003 and 2004; San Antonio NBA champions in 2003, 2005 and 2007).
They have a rock solid head coaches in Bill Belichick (Patriots) and Gregg Popovich (Spurs), that are masters when it comes to X’s and O’s. Their no-nonsense approach provided a blue-print for success. Through hard work, precise attention to detail and a great system of players, these coaches help transformed two franchises from mediocrity to dynasties. These teams also have two future Hall of Famers in quarterback Tom Brady for New England and power forward Tim Duncan. Both players guided their teams to every championship won.
After a few years of championship droughts, injuries and personnel changes, both the Pats and Spurs are making strong statements in their respective leagues. At 11-2, New England owns the best record in the AFC and is tied with the Atlanta Falcons for best overall record in the NFL. The Patriots also is the first team so far to clinch a playoff berth this season. As for the Spurs, they currently have the best record in the NBA through the first 24 games,at 21-3.
Wait a minute! Wasn’t the window of opportunity for a NBA title shut for the Spurs in the 2010 NBA playoffs when they were swept by the Phoenix Suns? Didn’t the Baltimore Ravens leave New England for dead in last year’s NFL wildcard game with a 33-14 thrashing? Aren’t the Spurs too old? Let’s be honest, they do have a lot of players in their 30 years. The Pats got rid of its best receiver in Randy Moss! What were they thinking? Tom Brady is getting old. Tim Duncan is in the twilight of his career.
These are the questions that both franchises had to endure, yet, New England and San Antonio are beating up their opponents with ease. How is this possible? As both franchises have championships under its belt, they are also champions when it comes to scouting and recruiting the right players for their schemes. They are two of the best at getting the most out of their players, both starters and depth. They aren’t concern about getting high-profile players. The main focus for these organizations is getting the right player, and rebuilding quickly with young players, without taking a step back in the standings. With that concept and a bit of luck, you’ll have a winning formula.
There are still games left in both leagues and most importantly, championships are won in the post season. It’s going to be fun to see how these two teams fare come playoff time.
By Keith Madyun