The San Antonio Spurs’ run of success from the late 1990s until the early portion of the 2010s might be the closest thing we’ve seen to the New England Patriots’ dynasty.
Now, New England’s dominance appears to be ending in similar fashion.
Nick Wright compared the two organizations Thursday on FOX Sports 1’s “First Things First,” pointing to the role Tim Duncan played in the Spurs winning five NBA titles between 1998-99 and 2013-14 as well as the role Tom Brady has played in guiding the Patriots to six Super Bowl titles between 2002 and 2019.
As Wright notes, San Antonio’s time as a perennial powerhouse seemingly ended with its last title, a reality New England now is staring in the face while looking vulnerable in its quest to repeat as Super Bowl champs.
“(The Spurs dynasty) really ended at that last title. Because as great as the infrastructure was, as great as (Gregg Popovich) is, as great as the supporting cast was, once their superstar linchpin stopped being that level of player, much less once he retired, their ability to compete for championships also ended right there with it,” Wright said. “That’s what we’re seeing with Brady. I don’t think he’ll be back with the Patriots next year, but even if he is, does anyone think he’s going to be markedly better than he is this year? I don’t. I don’t know why he would be. The defense can’t be much better than it is this year. So it’s not like, well, when Brady deteriorates, the defense will jump up. That’s what happened this year. The offense deteriorated and the defense went from a very good defense last year to a great defense this year. … But the other reason is because had Dee Ford been onside (in last season’s AFC Championship Game) and that pick counted, the narrative of the (Patriots) dynasty makes so much more sense.”
"The Spurs dynasty really ended at that last title. As great as Pop is, once their superstar linchpin stopped being that level of player, their ability to compete for championships also ended right there with it. That's what we're seeing with Brady." ? @getnickwright pic.twitter.com/G00emj22lo
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) January 2, 2020
Wright has been adamant for most of this season that Brady is in sharp decline. It’s hard to dispute the 42-year-old has regressed, but one certainly can debate whether the Patriots’ dynasty is nearing its end or if there are more championships in New England’s future with No. 12 at the helm.