However, the 1999 championship won by the Spurs has its share of pundits, who claim the achievement wasn't as lofty because it was obtained during a lockout-shortened season. One of the detractors who has consistently diminished the feat over the years is Phil Jackson. You may remember that Jackson was on the sidelines coaching the Lakers during most of San Antonio's glorious era with Duncan. To Jackson's credit, he also won five rings. But now that the Spurs have knotted Jackson's ring count up Holt is deciding to fire back.
Spurs owner Peter Holt couldn’t help himself, or more accurately he simply didn’t want to. The opportunity to turn the sharp stick back on Phil Jackson, San Antonio’s longtime nemesis and Spurs dynasty denier, was much, much too delicious to pass up.
The smile that spread broadly across Holt’s face and the hearty chuckle that spilled from it revealed his satisfaction in doing so. Holt, basking in the immediate glow of his team’s fifth championship Sunday night, was asked if this title is the sweetest of them all. Holt said, yes it is, although the first in 1999 will always be special, and that’s when you could start to see Holt’s face light up and the smile begin to build…
“Even though it was a shortened, asterisked season,” Holt said, now sporting a full-on grin. “Phil, Phil, Phil, Phil, we all played the same amount of playoff games, didn’t we, Phil?”
Holt was quickly reminded that Jackson was retired that season, his first out of the league following a second three-peat with Michael Jordan and the Bulls.
“Yeah, uh-huh.” Holt said. “Well, he bailed out.”
Holt has clearly been looking for this opportunity to take a shot at Jackson for sometime now. And he couldn't pass it up when finally afforded the chance.
To be fair, the 1999 title was obtained slightly easier than the other five for the Spurs. Some players returned to the league out of shape and not ready to play. Additionally, San Antonio beat an eight-seeded Knicks team in the NBA Finals to cap off the title. With that being said, San Antonio's run is simply amazing. The Spurs have won at least 50 games in every year since 1997 which is also the last time they missed out on the playoffs.