San Antonio Spurs: 25 players you may have forgotten were on the team

By Rob Wolkenbrod
SAN ANTONIO, TX - JUNE 11: Tracy McGrady
SAN ANTONIO, TX - JUNE 11: Tracy McGrady /
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SACRAMENTO, CA – MAY 5: Nick Van Exel
SACRAMENTO, CA – MAY 5: Nick Van Exel /

14. Nick Van Exel

Nick Van Exel had a solid NBA career as a point guard for a handful of teams. He played on the first two Shaquille O’Neal-Kobe Bryant teams on the Los Angeles Lakers and even preceded them from 1993-95, getting big minutes as the team’s point guard. Van Exel stuck around until 1998, just before the Laker three-peat in the NBA Finals.

Over the next five seasons, Van Exel played out his prime years with the Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks. He was mostly a reserve on the latter, which ended up becoming the norm for the rest of his career.

By the 2005-06 season, Van Exel was nearing the end of his career. This became the case throughout the year, as he joined the San Antonio Spurs in the smallest role of his time in the league. It included him playing just 15.2 minutes, putting up 5.5 points and 1.9 assists; all three numbers were career-lows.

In a last attempt at winning a title, Van Exel’s opportunity never came through, as the Spurs lost a seven-game series to the Dallas Mavericks in the 2006 playoffs. He retired two years later.

Van Exel’s 13-year career found success across the Western Conference, with the Spurs as just a footnote.