As they finished with the third worst record of the league, they won the draft lottery and selected Tim Duncan.
Duncan has immediately established himself as a notable force in the NBA as he averaged 21.1 points and 11.9 rebound per game in his rookie season in 1997-98. He won the Rookie of the Year and with him and Robinson, they led the team into a 56-26 season. Though having another big season improvement, they lost to the Utah Jazz in the Western Conference Finals.
In the next season, the start of the Spurs season was delayed due to the new labor agreement. They resumed the season in January of 1999 playing only 50 games.
They dominated the season with 37-13 record and also plummeted through the playoffs advancing through the NBA Finals with a 11-1 record. They faced the New York Knicks in the NBA Finals and won the series as they acquired the franchise’ first NBA title. It was Duncan who was named the Finals MVP.
Following the season after they won the NBA Title, they maintained their status as one of the elite teams in the NBA. Late in the season, Duncan had a knee injury as the Spurs only finished 53-29 record. The Duncan-less Spurs would be eliminated in the first round against the Suns.
They had a successful two seasons after that, finishing 58-24 for both 2000-01 and 2001-02 season. Despite their record, they would find themselves losing against the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals and eliminated in the second round in 2002.
In the 2002-03 season, Robinson announced that it will be his final season in the NBA. They put the 2nd year point guard Tony Parker to start in their lineup. Along with them were Stephen Jackson, Danny Ferry, Bruce Bowen, Steve Kerr, Steve Smith and second round draft Manu Ginobili.
They finished the season tied with the Dallas Mavericks with the best record in the NBA. In the postseason, they eliminated the Suns, Lakers and the Mavericks. They faced the New Jersey Nets in the Finals and eventually won in 6 games as they receive their 2nd NBA championship of the franchise.
They lost some players in the next season, but it was the start of the blooming of Manu Ginobili as one of the Spurs’ core players. They acquired Rasho Nesterovic who would fill up Robinson’s position and Hedo Turkoglu. They struggled early but soon got a hold together. They finished the 2003-04 season with 57-25 record. They lost against the Lakers in the playoffs in six game in the second round.
In 2004-05 season, they were led by the big three, Parker, Duncan and Ginobili throughout the season. They won their third championship after they faced the Detroit Pistons in the Finals. The series reached game 7 but it was the Spurs who won with 96-95.
In 2005-06 season, the Spurs remained as one of the elite teams in the West as they finished the season 63-19. Despite of a very impressive season, they lost in the playoffs in the second round.
For the 2006-07 season, they ended it with a 58-24 record and all were in good shape. They defeated the Nuggets in the first round, Phoenix Suns in the second and Utah Jazz in the Western Conference Finals. They swept the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals as they won their fourth NBA title.
In 2007-08 season, the Spurs would end the season with a 56-26 record. They eliminated the Suns in the first round and the Hornets in the second as they faced the redesigned Lakers in the Western Finals. They lost in five games.
The 2008-09 was a down season for the team, as Ginobili would miss a lot of game, it was only Parker and Duncan who carried the team. They finished the season with 54-28 record still 3rd best in the West. They were eliminated in the first round by the Dallas Mavericks.
In 2009-10 season, they acquired scorer Richard Jefferson. They also acquired DeJuan Blair from the 2nd round of the draft. It was not a notable season for the Spurs.
In 2010-11, the Spurs started looking like a prominent title contender as they had a 25-4 record before Christmas. In the early weeks of March, they clinched their playoff berth.