Puff Daddy and Mase topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart with their hit song “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down” the last time San Antonio Spurs missed the NBA playoffs.
It was a long time ago – going back to the 1996-97 season.
The final buzz came on Thursday night with the Utah Jazz topping San Antonio 118-112 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, officially knocking Spurs out of the competition for a spot at the Western Conference and ending a streak of 22 appearances. consecutive pitch after season.
Legendary Spurs coach, Gregg Popovich, who won five NBA championships during that time period, said: “It means a lot to a lot of people, but I don’t care about the past. . “That is purely [not] important; It is important that the moment you do what you have to do then you move on, but looking back is not very effective. Any success we have is because we have some great players. “
Spurs entered the game on Thursday with a three-straight win despite predicted long-range playoff shots in the NBA bubble Walt Disney World. Compensation shots of the Memphis Grizzlies and the Phoenix Suns before Thursday officially bolstered San Antonio’s removal, but Spurs managed to keep the controversy going.
“I’m more excited about this than anything you’re talking about right now, successful or unsuccessful, because success for long streaks or whatever the devil you’re talking about has been. is over, “said Popovich. “I might be less concerned with that. I’m glad the way they play here.”
He praised the youngsters’ efforts after a narrow reboot to reach the play-in round, which kicked off on Saturday and Portland’s No.8 match against 9 Memphis.
“They don’t have a chance to participate in this and they basically always try to have this chance,” he added. “The kids’ development mostly played the way they did, this is the best game we’ve played in all year. I really enjoyed it.”
Spurs defender DeMar DeRozan said the team’s disqualification was difficult to swallow.
“I can live with reality if we go out there and it depends on whether we win or lose and we lose,” he said. “I can accept that a little more than watching other teams play and their starters don’t really play and give the other team a chance to win, so that’s incredibly frustrating.”
According to research by the Elias Sports Bureau, 117 active NBA players were born on or after April 20, 1997 – the last day of Spurs’ 1996-97 season, when they had previously missed qualifying. live before this season. According to research by ESPN Stats & Information, that figure includes players from eight teams that weren’t in the bubble.
22 years of making playoff spots have branded the Philadelphia 76ers the longest in NBA history. The 76ers, starting as Syracuse Nationals before moving to Philadelphia, went to the knockout stages every year from 1950 to 1971.
The Houston Rockets currently has the longest post-season run with eight seasons.
Associated Press contributed to this report.