Remembering Sean Elliott’s Impact on the Spurs

By George Middleton

Sean Elliott will be forever remembered by Spurs fans. Elliott was on the infamous 1996-97 Spurs team that went 20-62. That was the last season the Spurs missed the postseason. As a result of winning only 20 games, the Spurs got the first pick in the 1997 NBA Draft. With the pick they took Tim Duncan. I know what Spurs fans are thinking, it was worth it, no question.

Jan. 3, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Former NBA player and San Antonio Spurs analyst Sean Elliott before the game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

The primary reasons the Spurs only won 20 games that year was because Elliott played in only 39 games and superstar center David Robinson played in only 6 games. A few weeks into the season, the Spurs fired strangely fired coach Bob Hill and Gregg Popovich became the new head coach. Hill had led the Spurs to 62 and 59 wins in his two full seasons with the Spurs.

From then on the Spurs have dominated. The Spurs have made the playoffs every year since and have five championships.

Elliott, who now works as a Spurs analyst for the Fox Sports regional station, was a big part of their first NBA title in 1999. Elliott averaged 11.9 points and 3.4 rebounds in the postseason.

Elliott spent 11 of his 12 seasons in San Antonio. Elliott is a two-time NBA All-Star, both appearances coming with the Spurs.

His best season of his career came in 1995-96 when he averaged 20 points and 5.1 rebounds.

Elliott holds career averages of 14.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.6 assists. He is sixth in Spurs history in games played (669) and fifth in three-pointers made (563).

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Elliott also had a great collegiate career at Arizona. Elliott averaged 19.2 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 3.4 assists in four seasons. He was a two-time Pac-1o Player of the Year, two-time Consensus first-team All-American, and AP Player of the Year. As a result of all these accomplishments his no. 32 was retired. He was drafted with the third pick in the 1989 Draft by the Spurs.

Elliott is no longer a Spurs player, but one can never forget his impact.

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