Spurs again picked as No. 1 ‘Ultimate Team’

VIDEO: LaMarcus Aldridge talks with GameTime about joining the Spurs

By Jeff Case

Ever since ESPN The Magazine started doing its Ultimate Team rankings of every professional sports team in North America back in 2003, the San Antonio Spurs have never finished lower than 9th (2009). After winning the NBA title in 2013-14, they were picked No. 1 by ESPN The Magazine and have followed that up with another No. 1 ranking in the latest edition.

This story explains the process the magazine’s staff goes through in ranking each squad and, to us, it sounds pretty arduous. But, in short the ranking process is based on the following critera:

Affordability (11.3%): Price of tickets, parking and concessions

Coaching (3.2%): Strength of on-field leadership

Fan Relations (25%): Courtesy by players, coaches and front office toward fans, plus how well a team uses technology to reach fans

Ownership (13.1%): Honesty; loyalty to core players and the local community

Players (14.6%): Effort on the field, likability off it

Stadium Experience (9.8%): Quality of arena; fan-friendliness of environment; frequency of game-day promotions

Title Track (4.6%): Championships won or expected within the lifetime of current fans

Bang For The Buck (18.3%): Wins in the past two years per fan dollar, adjusted for league schedules

Other NBA teams join the Spurs in the Top 20 overall rankings, including the Memphis Grizzlies (2nd), Oklahoma City Thunder (7th), Indiana Pacers (13th) and Golden State Warriors (20th).

Based on the critera above, are the Spurs the No. 1 team in your Ultimate Team rankings?



  1. johnnytc1 says:

    Spur’s # 1 ?! Ha! Don’t let the King find out… He b takin his talents over here to giv dem a piece of his mind! Yes, of course! The Spurs are the best team in the NBA followed closely behind by GSW. One of those two teams will run out anyone in five games from the east. Watch out for OKC too. It will be another joyous year watching the King get spanked! Ouch!

  2. mike jordan says:

    GSW is a great team too..does not deserve to be 20th..Grizzlies is a great team, but ranked a little bit high..

  3. Michael says:

    Well deserved, congratulations to the SPURS, the model franchise!

  4. Reck says:

    Another LBJ Hater….hahaha..move on mate.

  5. fakebron/flopbron says:

    Fakebron aint going nowhere this season .
    he cant lead , Mj , Kobe , has that killer instinct
    Fakebron is soft . with his two left feet

  6. rodrigooz says:

    popovic president

  7. ant says:

    the spurs are getting too much love. They’re still weak on the perimeter and haven’t addressed that need yet.

  8. johnnytc1 says:

    Spurs have all the tools. GSW is right behind. But both teams will kick the Kings behind. Cavs are a .500 team.

  9. JSC says:

    Now the only thing is missing is the title, that never happened in the NBA. (Pacers)

  10. Clark says:

    @johnnytc1 you SICK boy. LeBron, lemme correct myself LeChoke, is trash man. He is ain’t the king of nothing. He has to team hop to established superstars just to be considered a contender. He’s no real leader just a guy who joins teams and try to cheat for a title. He makes Basketball soft and boring cause nobody is competitive, but instead always tryna be buddy buddy. He only got 2 titles: Horry, Luke Walton, hell even Derek FIsher got more rings then buddy and they team hop to, so get off LeChoke tip he ain’t great. Real NBA Legends & Kings like MJ and Kobe are the king. And @Reck you stupid nobody hating on that fool LeChoke we hate on yall and who are dumb enough to think he is any where near elite as it pertains to the game of basketball. Take off all superstars on his team and he will just do what he did in the finals like always CHOKE and LOSE.

  11. Reuben says:

    No matter what is said or posted to each his own. Yes I am a hater and its my right to hate or love. HA,HA,HA, The San Antonio Spurs are Picked # 1 all over the Planet. No denying you Stupid Hater’s……HA,HA,HA

  12. WJS says:

    OOOOOOOOoo Clark! Thanks for breaking it down sooooo clearly. King lovers seemed to be blinded by nothing but talk/excusses about injuries. It doesn’t matter who is on his team. They only run three plays. Post up King, pick and roll for the king and isolation to king. Yes, King won two titles. Why, because the role players poured in three’s and were allowed to play.

  13. Mike says:

    I don’t agree with this ranking, mainly because I don’t agree the Spurs should be included in the list. In fact, I believe the list should be renamed the “Closest to being the Spurs rankings”. The San Antonio Spurs aren’t No.1 on the list… they’re the criteria.

  14. johnnytc1 says:

    What happened again tonight. Cav’s lost another.. They will be a .500 team this year. I can’t wait to hear the excusses!

  15. Kiendo says:

    People who don’t understand basketball should not be allowed to comment here. I have been spurs since I was 1998 and they have been the best franchise of all major sports but we have agree and give credit when credit is due. Lebron James is the best player of his generation and no one is even close to him. The finals was not a fair game missing two super stars! LEARN THE GAME

    • Ohio330Youngstown says:

      I support everything you just said. Every team in nba history had more then 1 super star. But ppl are so blind to see that. An yes the spurs hasthe best organization in sports i will say, plus they are not a big market team.

      • artifex says:

        Well, if in terms of “All Stars” the 2011 Mavs had only one (All / Super) Star.
        Though Kidd is a HOF-to-be player.
        And Chandler could have deserved a ASG berth, becoming DPOY the following season.

        The 1977 Blazers are a similar team, at least to me (a toddler then) only Bill Walton sounds familiar (as a player – Hollins is I guess more recognized as coach, but someone with more knowledge is free to correct me on these Blazers…)

        So, it’s not always, but mostly there are more than one (and the term of Big 3 is much older than some youngsters in Miami may imagine… – 80s Celtics e.g.)

  16. Mitch says:

    @Clark…You say ” Bron has to team up with superstars just to get a championship”…What exactly did David West do in taking an 11 Mil paycut to go to the Spurs? West is looked at by most do have “done the right thing” because he wants a title. So how is it any different for Lebron to do the same? The world needs to stop being so anti-James…he is making the game of basketball something Beautiful to watch

  17. Mitch says:

    @Johnnytc1 ” Its the PRESEASON bro”….few years ago the Raps went 8-0 with Bargnani in the preseason..did they win a title because of their play during the preseason? no!

  18. Clark says:

    @Mitch anybody who walks away from 20M is a disturbed individual. Idc what the circumstances, West was stupid.

  19. johnnytc1 says:

    Easy, Mitch… Pre season means working out the bugs…. Cav’s don’t need a preseason… They only run three plays. Post up the king, pick and roll for the king and everyones fav, get out of the way the king is going to run an isolation. Yes, King has worked hard already in the preseason that’s why he’s taking some time off already… The King is no leader! The only time he’s won was in Miami because the role players were aloud to play and they played well. In the Kings kingdom everything runs through him. Again, they will be a .500 team this year and the excuses will be rolling as usual. We are going to have a great year. thanks NBA.com!

  20. Greatness says:

    Its obvious, spurs are first and thunder are second along with the warriors. Cavaliers are 30th because they are not a team they are just Lebron who can only win a championship when he has 2 other superstars on his team.

  21. johnnytc1 says:

    Now Greatness knows exactly what he’s talking about. But the king has to be the man. If he’s not he’s flowing around making excuses. I have never seen such a circus in my whole life…

  22. white knight says:

    The new miami heat will crush the king into pieces.miami vs spurs in June.16

  23. white knight says:

    Basketball can’t be win by one person.its a team work,the king needs to go back to south beach if he wants another ring

  24. Mitch says:

    ok @Johnnytc1…So basically what you’re saying, is that the Cavs finish, in the weaker East, on Par with the Bucks? And @Greatness, whom sounds like a basketball Genius, you state the Cavs finish 30th, lower than the Knicks, the Sixers…Come on guys, we all have our opinions on things, but at least speak common sense. James needed help to win two titles in Miami, of course. But there’s no way they finish how you two jokers predict. I will personally e transfer you both, 5 grand each, if this “disaster of a prediction” happens.

  25. KingJames says:

    this doesnt mean anything the season didnt even start yet . they are simply stating whats on the paper. players get injured during the season then we will see what happens?

  26. fox3 says:

    the chicago bulls will kick all the teams butt ! go bulls 1996 roosters! 😀

  27. johnnytc1 says:

    Thanks @mitch for being easy on me. Only 5 grand? Thank you for your nice gesture. My prediction is Cav’s .500 this year. They would finish higher if King wasn’t there. Then they would play as a team and would win more… Cav’s run only three pays; Pick and roll for the King, post up for the King and an isolation for the king. Yes, he does make his shot 38% of the time… no team wins with that percentage. I always thought the King means you are champion. So that must mean Curry/MVP/Champion should be King. I don’t want to hear about injuries because they apply only to the other teams. It doesn’t matter on Cleveland because everything runs through one player… Look I already forgot his name…

    • Mitch says:

      @Johnnytc1…so Spurs picking up their first win of the pre season means they are a .500 team too I guess

  28. johnnytc1 says:

    @Mitch, SAS will not loose more than 15 games. Now you don’t need to guess.

  29. johnnytc1 says:

    Yaaaaaayyyyyyyyy the cav’s won a game. The King needed a night off already and look they played like a team.

  30. Mitch says:

    @Johnnytc1…The Spurs will not “lose” more than 15 games, not “loose”. But I disagree. Cavs win the East, and im going to go out on a limb and say this is the year the Clippers finally get over that hump and take the west

  31. Zaid says:

    The spurs wont make it. The sixers will. LOL