Dec 5, 2015; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs power forward Tim Duncan (21) walks onto the court during player introductions before game against the Boston Celtics at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Few teams have the type of history the San Antonio Spurs have. From their humble beginning in the ABA, to their championship contending teams of the modern decade, the Spurs have a history that precious few teams can match.
That history is possible thanks to the plethora of great players that have passed through San Antonio over the years, and as we continue our breakdown of the top five position players in Spurs history, we now move on to the greatest power forwards to wear the silver and black.
San Antonio is a very lucky team. To have the same player starting at the same position for a 19-year period is nothing short of extraordinary. While you might already know by now who will rank number one in this list, it is also important to know the players in this team’s history that shaped their future for years to come.
If you have not yet been able to check out our latest rankings, you can find those out by clicking the corresponding links: Top 5 Point Guards In Spurs History ; Top 5 Shooting Guards In Spurs History ; Top 5 Small Forwards In Spurs History.
Now that we have that out of the way, lets dive into the five best power forwards in the history of the Spurs.
Next: No. 5 Power Forward In Spurs History
5. Larry Kenon: 1975-1980
Back in the late 1970’s to the early 80’s, San Antonio had many players that were able to play different positions when called upon, Larry Kenon was one of those players. In our top five small forwards in Spurs history, I ranked Kenon No. 4.
Kenon was a beast for the Spurs back in the late 70’s. In four out of his five seasons with the team, he averaged over 20 points per game on good percentages. He also rebounded the ball well and demonstrated why he was a great go-to option on the block down low. He was also a gifted passer, who consistently found his teammates open for easy shots.
When San Antonio joined the NBA in 1976, Kenon was still the same player leading them to victories. He was the man in the paint for San Antonio.
He ranks fifth on the Spurs’ all-time rebound list (3,217), and led the team in rebounding each of the four NBA seasons he played in San Antonio. He averaged 11.3 rebounds in 1976-77, which ranked 10th in the league.
Next: No. 4 Power Forward In Spurs History
4. Terry Cummings: 1989-1995
Terry Cummings had developed into an All-Star with the Milwaukee Bucks before he was traded in 1989 to the Spurs. There, he continued to put up stellar numbers playing alongside David Robinson, becoming a near 20 point and 8 rebound per game player. That helped the Spurs becoming contenders in the West.
In 1992, he suffered a serious knee injury, and Cummings was never the same. Cummings had a strong run during his time with the Spurs, especially his first three years where he averaged 22.4, 17.6, and 17.3 PPG respectively.
During his last seasons with the team, he struggled to remain healthy and his field goal percentage dropped, but early-on he was an effective player for the team who also shot a good percentage from the field.
Cummings spent six seasons with San Antonio. He averaged 14.4 points, 7 rebounds, 1.6 assists and shot 47 percent from the field.
Next: No. 3 Power Forward In Spurs History
Oct 28, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs fans (from left) Frank Heineken, Sebastian Serna, and Cynthia Serna pose for a photo prior to a game against the Dallas Mavericks at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
3. Rich Jones: 1969-1975
Rich Jones was another strong power forward for the Spurs in their ABA days. Jones was drafted by the rival Dallas Chaparrals in 1970. He was later traded to the Spurs in 1973. Jones developed into a great forward playing alongside Geroge Gervin. But championship glory would come when he joined Julius Irving and the New York Nets.
While he did not shoot a high percentage from the field every season, Jones was a skilled passer who also crashed the boards with reckless abandon. His best season came during the 1972-73 season when he averaged 22.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game.
He also had the ability to play the small forward position, proving to be an important player for the team in their early days.
Next: No. 2 Power Forward In Spurs History
2. Dennis Rodman: 1993-1995
Dennis Rodman was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011. Though he only lasted two seasons with the team due to clashing with David Robinson and ownership, he was an animal on the boards, averaging 17.3 and 16.8 rebounds per game respectively.
He was always a one-dimensional player in the NBA but he was extremely good at what he did. It is too bad he did not last longer with the Spurs.
As the Detroit Pistons were dismantling, Rodman was in need of a new home to continue his career. He found one in 1993 with the Spurs, and it was there where he developed the personality that would later define his career.
Next: No. 1 Power Forward In Spurs History
1. Tim Duncan: 1997-2016
Who else did you think would be number one on this list? Tim Duncan is not only the best power forward in team history, he is also one of the best players to ever change the game. When he arrived in San Antonio in 1997, Duncan immediately changed the team’s fortunes, and he was the driving force in the Spurs run to five championships during his time in the NBA.
A five-time champion and 14-time All-Star, Duncan is a first-ballot Hall of Famer who continues to add to his legacy. A person and player that never changed his ways because of stardom. Duncan remained constant with whom he was throughout his 19 year career.
He was the foundation of San Antonio. Without Duncan and his ways, this team would not be as successful as they have and will continue to be.