Are the Spurs one of the most underrated teams in all of sports?
4 Championships between 1998-2007. Constantly picking low in the draft (20s). Journeymen players have their careers revived in San Antonio. Very low market, so not a ton of revenue. I can't help but be impressed in a league where it's usually a very star driven league (and yes San Antonio has stars but they are very team oriented) that San Antonio has bucked the trend.
But 4 championships in 9 years is extremely impressive in the NBA.
They are but in part because they were thought to be a "boring" team for so long. People knew they were a great team, but as you said it's a star driven league, so when your franchise player is nicknamed "The Big Fundamental" people aren't going to be paying as much attention to you.
I'm sure it suits that team just fine, they're built on a team mentality, on fundamentals, on being unselfish, so for the most part being out of the spotlight can only help with that.
They really are the model franchise in the NBA imo.
Like Morozov said, they aren't as 'flashy' as other champs but they get it done. And to continually go deep into the playoffs with a consistent but aging core is impressive. Especially considering how small other teams windows have been.
underrated is the wrong word. You can't underrate a team that is (as far as I know) the only team in NBA history to win 50+ games, 13+ seasons.
The word you're actually looking for is "uninteresting"
The San Antonio Spurs are literally a machine. From the cold, bleak, lifelessness of their gray and black jersies, to their perfect passing, perfect timing, nothing flashy, nothing that stands out offense, to their smothering defensive rotations. They're automatons, and they're damn effective at it. They are the Borg. Last year, they took disfunctional castoffs (Diaw, Jackson), a bunch of old guys (Duncan, Parker, Ginobili) a dash of random young guys (Danny Green, Kwahi Leonard) and an odd asortment of role players (Matt Bonner, Tiago Splitter) and turned it into the best team in the regular season, that also won 10 straight playoff games. And of course, they got the evil mastermind Pop, whose interviews are as harsh, intimidating and effective as his team's play.
This commercial sums it up perfectly. They are what they are. Everyone knows what they are. You know it's coming. But you can't stop it.
I'll finish this by saying I'm a Rockets fan and I hate the Spurs and the Mavs
I think it all depends on who you ask. If you go to some of the media and the fans they will say the Spurs are boring with no personality and blah blah blah. But I think those in the inner circles of the NBA have much more respect for them and what they've done, esp more so after the 3rd title.