As a basketball fan in Minnesota, I hear a lot about the Lakers’ 22-game winning streak against the local Timberwolves. There’s hope next year, but I’ve been saying that since 2006.
It’s been even longer for Golden State and their struggles at San Antonio. Their last win came on Valentine’s Day in 1997.
What were those teams like 16 years ago?
- Three coaches in 2013 played for the Spurs in ’97: Vinny Del Negro, Monty Williams, and Avery Johnson. Avery Johnson was fired from the Brooklyn Nets this year and replaced by P.J. Carlesimo, who was the head coach of the Golden State Warriors in 1997.
- Dominique Wilkins was also a Spur.
- The game was played at the Alamodome.
- Latrell Sprewell was a member of the Warriors. We were still nine months away from his choking incident with Carlesimo.
- Other notable Warriors: Chris Mullin, Mark Price, and Felton Spencer.
- San Antonio was in the tank for some dude named Tim Duncan. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Timberwolves were about to make their first playoff appearance in franchise history. Hmm.
Here were the logos of each team back then:
Since the last Warriors victory in San Antonio, four teams have relocated (Vancouver, Charlotte, Seattle, and New Jersey). One team has been added (Charlotte Bobcats), and there’s been about a kagillion uniform changes.
Here were some notable jerseys that made their debut during the ’97 season:
What else was the NBA like back in 1997?
- Tom Gugliotta and Stephon Marbury were Minnesota Timberwolves, Chris Webber was a Washington Bullet, Damon Stoudemire was a Toronto Raptor, and Jalen Rose was playing his first season as an Indiana Pacer.
- The rookie class consisted of Allen Iverson, Jermaine O’Neal, Ray Allen, Steve Nash, and Kobe Bryant.
- Kevin Garnett wasn’t even old enough to drink yet, but made his first All-Star Game. Anthony Davis was only three years old and Dikembe Mutombo was only 56.
- The awesomeness of NBA Live 97 was born.
- The Clippers (36-46) won more games in 1997 than the Celtics and the Spurs combined.
Other notables in late ’96, early ’97:
- Bill Clinton was inaugurated for his second term on January 20.
- Filling up gas didn’t feel like as much of a chore.
- The Green Bay Packers beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI. I was rooting for the Packers.
- The Yankees won the ’96 World Series with youngsters Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte.
- Roger Clemens was a Red Sock, Curt Schilling was a Philly, and Alex Rodriguez enjoyed his first full season as a Seattle Mariner. It’s also worth noting that A-Rod wasn’t really that hated back then.
I would go into a novel about how awesome life was back in the ’90s, but there’s some basketball to watch. Speaking of television, here are some quick hits on some TV shows back in ’97:
- King of the Hill premiered on January 12. Recess premiered on ABC nearly eight months later.
- Fox’s first Super Bowl telecast. Still five years from dealing with Joe Buck.
- We were still six months from South Park airing on Comedy Central.
Notable films in ’97:
- The Lost World: Jurassic Park
- Men in Black
- Tomorrow Never Dies
- Liar Liar
Unfortunately, all of them debuted after the Warriors’ last victory in San Antonio.
And now, a potential 30 for 30 about the Warriors’ 16-year drought at San Antonio. Will it continue to 17?