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 – 1997: Dominique Wilkins
SACRAMENTO, CA – 1997: Dominique Wilkins /

2. Dominique Wilkins

Dominique Wilkins was one of the most exciting players to step foot on a NBA court. His years with the Atlanta Hawks showcased one of the best scorers to play in the Association and a perennial All-Star talent.

Wilkins wasn’t able to take the next step toward immortality (the NBA championship) in his historic career, but tried to upon joining the San Antonio Spurs for the 1996-97 season.

Wilkins-to-the-Spurs came lumped between two seasons in Europe, where he explored the game of basketball in Greece and Italy. It was at the tail-end of his career, which is why it may not resonate much, especially in his late 30’s.

When San Antonio signed Wilkins, they expected him to be part of a contending team. David Robinson was back. Sean Elliott, Vinny Del Negro, Avery Johnson, and Vernon Maxwell made for a solid supporting cast. Add the Human Highlight Reel, and it made for a deep team. Take away the best player, Robinson, however, and things change.

First, the Admiral hurt his back in the preseason. He was able to return about two months into the season, but just six games in broke his foot and missed the rest of 1996-97. That sent the team on a tailspin for one of their worst seasons ever, 20-62.

So, at age 37, Wilkins became the leading man. He played 63 games and led the team in scoring (18.2 points) and finished second in rebounding (6.4) if Robinson’s six games aren’t factored. It was a low for Wilkins’ career, as he left San Antonio for Europe, returned in 1998-99 for 27 games in Orlando and retired.

Wilkins’ career highlights will always be of his time in Atlanta. There was the blip on the radar in San Antonio, though, which came on a historically bad season for the franchise … and Tim Duncan.