One of the main protagonists in the San Antonio Spurs' success over the past 20 years has stepped back from his position at the franchise. Chairman and CEO Peter Holt has decided the time has come for him to take a back seat at the AT&T Center.
Having joined the Spurs as a minority owner in 1993, before assuming his current role in 1996, Holt's selfless ownership has been one of the major reasons Gregg Popovich and the franchise have been able to enjoy so much success.
Holt took a back seat and let coach Pop and R.C. Burford take control of basketball related matters as the Western Conference franchise picked up five championship rings during his tenure.
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The 67-year-old financially backed the Spurs whenever necessary and will now relinquish his position to his wife Julianna, who requested the president of business Rick Pych accompany her.
Mr. Holt will remain on the Spurs' board of managers but Julianna will assume his place on the NBA's board of governers, where Peter had previously served as chairman.
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It was an understated announcement on Wednesday evening - an off day for the Spurs - that seemed to encapsulate what the franchise had come to stand for under his control.
"I'm proud of what we've achieved over the last two decades," he said. "The championships are wonderful, bringing new sports franchises to San Antonio is important but the biggest accomplishment for me will always be the impact we've had in our community. The pride, support and love that our city has for the Spurs is truly amazing."
Gregg Popovich's return to the Spurs in 1994 was heavily influenced by Holt and the franchise is now put on a pedestal as the model for success after an unprecedented level of consistency. Just last week, they qualified for the playoffs for a 19th consecutive season.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said of Holt: "For 20 years the Spurs have been a model franchise under Peter Holt, winning five NBA championships and becoming an anchor of the San Antonio community along with building a global following.
"Peter not only provided steady leadership as an NBA, WNBA and NBA Development League owner but also distinguished himself as Chairman of the NBA Board of Governors and Chairman of the NBA's Labor Relations Committee. We thank him for his outstanding service and look forward to working with Julianna Hawn Holt in her new role as the team's Governor."
One of the pillars of the Spurs' success has stepped aside, but do not expect anything to change within the franchise. Julianna will assume the same role of being involved but allowing the basketball brains to work their magic.
Who knows, Mrs. Holt's reign could well begin with a ring.