For the first time since 1997, the NBA postseason won't feature the San Antonio Spurs.
However, that doesn't faze longtime head coach Gregg Popovich.
"I don't dwell on the past," Popovich said after Thursday's season-ending loss to the Utah Jazz, according to the NBA on TNT. "I don't know who won the baseball championship from year to year. Four years ago I don't know who won the NBA championship. That stuff's totally (not) important.
"What's important is the moment - you do what you've got to do then you move on. But looking at the past doesn't do much good. Any success we've had has been because we've had some great players."
Franchise greats Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker no longer lead the Spurs, but some of the team's younger players still fared well in Thursday's 118-112 defeat.
Rookie Keldon Johnson finished with a game-high 24 points, and 23-year-old point guard Dejounte Murray recorded 12 points, 14 rebounds, and seven assists. Derrick White, a third-year guard who's expected to be a key backcourt figure, didn't play in the finale, but his overall run after the restart was impressive. He averaged 18.9 points, five assists, and 4.3 rebounds while shooting 39.3% from distance over seven games.
Popovich lauded the growth the club's youngsters showed during the seeding games despite the long postseason odds.
"I'm more excited about this than anything you guys are talking about right now, successes or non-successes, because the success for streaks or whatever the hell you're talking about ended," he said. "I could care less about that. I'm thrilled at the way they played here."
"They had no shot to get into this thing and basically willed themselves into it to have this opportunity," he continued, adding that as the "young kids" developed, it was the best the team played all year.
Entering this season, Popovich had taken the Spurs to 22 consecutive playoffs, winning five NBA titles during that span. The only other campaign when he failed to reach the playoffs as head coach was his first season, when he replaced Bob Hill after San Antonio's 3-15 start. The Spurs picked first in the draft following their 20-62 finish that season, and they selected Duncan.