San Antonio Spurs: Predicting the NBA 2K18 All-Time team

By Rob Wolkenbrod
SAN ANTONIO,TX - DECEMBER 18: Former San Antonio Spurs stars Tim Duncan listens to the speeches during the ceremony honoring and retiring of Tim Duncan number after the game against the New Orleans Pelicans at AT
SAN ANTONIO,TX - DECEMBER 18: Former San Antonio Spurs stars Tim Duncan listens to the speeches during the ceremony honoring and retiring of Tim Duncan number after the game against the New Orleans Pelicans at AT
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San Antonio Spurs, SAN ANTONIO, TX – MAY 22: The jersey of Manu Ginobili
San Antonio Spurs, SAN ANTONIO, TX – MAY 22: The jersey of Manu Ginobili

How could the San Antonio Spurs’ All-Time team look on NBA 2K18?

The San Antonio Spurs’ history goes on from the 1970’s, when they were part of the ABA. In the 40-plus years since, they’ve had players that starred for the franchise and became all-time great players.

In NBA 2K18, 2K Sports’ latest version of their NBA video game franchise, they will celebrate the greatest players of all time with every teams’ All-Time squad. That means a team like the Los Angeles Lakers will have Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson, and others on the same roster.

For the Spurs, they will have their own All-Time team. Who would make it, though? What players make the starting lineup? Let’s take a look.

BOSTON – 1981: Artis Gilmore
BOSTON – 1981: Artis Gilmore

C Artis Gilmore

The San Antonio Spurs’ history of centers and power forwards is top heavy. Below that are players like Artis Gilmore, who played five seasons with the team. He stands as the lone big man to back up at power forward and center on this All-Time team.

Gilmore didn’t join the Spurs until his age 33 season in 1982-83, before having a successful career in the ABA and on the Chicago Bulls that saw him be one of the best big men in professional basketball. He notably had 22.3 points and 17.9 rebounds per game in the ABA, the league he stayed in until 1976.

On the Spurs, Gilmore had three consecutive seasons of at least 15 points and 10 rebounds per game, including a 18-12 campaign in the 1982-83 season. He did this on the later versions of the George Gervin-led San Antonio teams.

In NBA 2K18, look for Gilmore to have a rating around 85, if 2K Sports adds him to the Spurs’ All-Time team. He’ll have very good ability around the post and to rebound the basketball. This rating won’t be as high as it would be earlier in Gilmore’s career, but more evident of where he was at, at age 33 to 37.

Next: Avery Johnson

NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: San Antonio Spurs player Avery Johnson (L) drives against New York Knicks player Chris Childs during game five of the NBA Finals 25 June, 1999 at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The Spurs won the game 78-77 and the series 4-1. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO Jeff HAYNES (Photo credit should read JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: San Antonio Spurs player Avery Johnson (L) drives against New York Knicks player Chris Childs during game five of the NBA Finals 25 June, 1999 at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The Spurs won the game 78-77 and the series 4-1. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO Jeff HAYNES (Photo credit should read JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)

PG Avery Johnson

The backup point guard will be Avery Johnson, who spent three stints with the San Antonio Spurs. Originally, he was arguably the top point guard in franchise history, before someone else came along in the 2000’s.

Johnson was more known for his passing ability and defense throughout his NBA career. His third stint represented this best, with some of the best assist averages in the league from 1995-99, including winning the NBA championship in the 1998-99 strike-shortened season. In all but two seasons, Johnson’s Defensive Win Shares eclipsed 2.0, too, including 5.6 in the 1995-96 season.

The New Orleans, LA native was part of some of San Antonio’s best teams in the 1990’s. He aligned with David Robinson, Tim Duncan, and Sean Elliott to produce even some of the top squads in franchise history.

This should be well-represented in NBA 2K18, with an above-average ball-handling ability and defensive awareness. It should get Johnson a rating around 80-84, as he didn’t have the scoring acumen to go beyond this for the video game. For a backup point guard, however, it will be more than good enough on the Spurs’ All-Time team.

The bench continues to get deeper for San Antonio’s All-Time team. Who will be the next part of it?

Next: Sean Elliott

HOUSTON – MAY 28: Sean Elliott
HOUSTON – MAY 28: Sean Elliott

SF Sean Elliott

Through two stints and 11 seasons, Sean Elliott goes down as one of the best San Antonio Spurs of all time. His contributions would be more recognized if Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker didn’t come around, but for the 1990’s, Elliott should be considered one of the top Spurs.

Elliott entered the NBA as the No. 3 overall pick of the 1989 draft. There, he joined David Robinson as the Spurs began their run through the 1990’s. Elliott broke out as the team’s No. 2 scorer and had an All-Star season in the 1992-93 season, averaging 17.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game.

Elliott spent his age 25 season on the Detroit Pistons, as the Spurs traded him to get a package that included Dennis Rodman. This was only for San Antonio to get him back via trade just nine months later.

Back in the Alamo City, Elliott had some of the best seasons of his career. He averaged 18.1 points in 1994-95 and 20.0 points in 1995-96, the latter of which got him an All-Star nod. Eventually, it got him the 1999 NBA championship.

Elliott should get a NBA 2K rating around 83-85. He’ll be a strong backup or sixth man to the starting small forward, with the ability to play the undersized four spot in the video game.

Next: Manu Ginobili

SAN ANTONIO, TX – JUNE 15: Manu Ginobili
SAN ANTONIO, TX – JUNE 15: Manu Ginobili

SG Manu Ginobili

For the likely sixth man of this NBA 2K18 team, it will be Manu Ginobili. He just misses out on being the San Antonio Spurs’ All-Time team’s starting lineup, but is better-suited for the role he played — and excelled — in for most of his career.

Ginobili only started more than 70 games just twice in his career, as he was either injured or used as the Spurs’ sixth man. However, he delivered with two All-Star Game appearances and four NBA championships.

Through Ginobili’s career, he’s been known for outside shooting and defense. That’s representative of his career 37 percent shooting from behind the arc and 1.4 steals per game. Even as his minutes have been reduced, the averages stayed the same, with the exception of overall field goal percentage.

On the 2017-18 Spurs 2K team, Ginobili won’t be anything more than a 74 or 75 overall rating, as he’s at age 40. For the All-Time team, he should get a rating in the mid-upper 80’s, potentially around 87 or 88 overall. It’s not fully indicative of how much he meant to the Spurs franchise, but a quality rating for someone that stayed consistent for most of his career and did whatever the team asked him to.

A very good-to-great version of Ginobili should be fun to play with in NBA 2K18. What about the starting lineup, though?

Next: Tony Parker

NEWARK, NJ – FEBRUARY 11: Tony Parker
NEWARK, NJ – FEBRUARY 11: Tony Parker

PG Tony Parker

Moving to the starting lineup, it begins with Tony Parker, who should be considered the top point guard in San Antonio Spurs history. Parker has been the starting point guard since the day the team drafted him in 2001 and hasn’t looked back.

Through 16 NBA seasons, Parker made six All-Star Games and remained a consistent presence at point guard. At this stage of his career, he likely won’t be making another All-Star Game, especially with a torn quad that will leave him out for the first few months of the 2017-18 season.

Aside from that, the Frenchman won five NBA championships with the Spurs, and has the opportunity for a sixth if the team can climb past the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors. It will only add to his legacy, one that should get his number retired in the next decade.

Given Parker’s work for the past 16 years, it should get him a relatively high rating in NBA 2K18. Looking for something around 88 or 89, with the potential to hit 90. That would be his peak, which was around the 2008-09 season, when he averaged 22 points and 6.9 assists per game.

Parker will be the ball distributor for this All-Time team. Who will join him in the starting lineup?

Next: George Gervin

BOSTON – 1982: George Gervin
BOSTON – 1982: George Gervin

SG George Gervin

While Manu Ginobili was good enough to be the starting shooting guard, one player from the San Antonio Spurs’ past exceeds him.

Before David Robinson and Tim Duncan, George Gervin was the greatest Spur of all time. He was their original franchise player that scored points from start to finish, and lit up the seasonal stat sheet, including four years of leading the league in scoring (1977-80, 1981-82). Along the way, Gervin made the All-Star Game in every season in the Black and Silver.

Gervin was even an original star of the ABA, and joined the Spurs when they were still a member of this defunct league. He made his mark there, with point averages that ranged from 19 to 24.

San Antonio never got the chance to make a NBA Finals during Gervin’s career, but they remained above-average during his time there. He led the way on the team and as one of the league’s best players, until his departure after the 1984-85 season.

In NBA 2K18, look for Gervin to be one of the highest rated players on the All-Time team. He could be around a 92 or 93, and be a dominant scorer to play with. If anything, he may be one of the best players on the All-Time teams.

Next: Kawhi Leonard

San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio Spurs

SF Kawhi Leonard

In just six seasons, Kawhi Leonard makes the San Antonio Spurs’ All-Time team for NBA 2K18. He exceeded Sean Elliott with his rise to be one of the best players in the league, something Elliott did not do, despite his NBA success.

Leonard’s 2016-17 season put him over the top. He averaged 25.5 points per game and made the 2017 All-Star Game, with a third-place finish in the NBA MVP voting as accolade that topped them all.

Along with this, Leonard has developed into one of the NBA’s best two-way players. His defensive value is among the best in the league, with terrific ability to defend on the perimeter. That includes a career average of 1.8 steals per game and nearly 1 block.

In NBA 2K18, Leonard already has a 95 overall rating. Will that be identical on the All-Time team? Maybe not, as he doesn’t have the longevity of George Gervin or the starting power forward and center, yet. That may give the San Diego State product a 90 rating, with numbers down a few notches from his main mark.

Leonard joins Gervin and Tony Parker in the starting lineup. With power forward and center to go, let’s see the two that fill out the rest of the All-Time team.

Next: Tim Duncan

SAN ANTONIO,TX – DECEMBER 18: Former San Antonio Spurs stars Tim Duncan listens to the speeches during the ceremony honoring and retiring of Tim Duncan number after the game against the New Orleans Pelicans at AT
SAN ANTONIO,TX – DECEMBER 18: Former San Antonio Spurs stars Tim Duncan listens to the speeches during the ceremony honoring and retiring of Tim Duncan number after the game against the New Orleans Pelicans at AT

PF Tim Duncan

It’s not an All-Time team for the San Antonio Spurs without Tim Duncan. He easily steps in as the starting power forward in NBA 2K18.

From the 1997 NBA Draft to the end of the 2016 playoffs, Duncan remained part of the Spurs. He stayed for 19 seasons, despite flirting with other opportunities earlier in his career. The list of accolades are plentiful for what he accomplished in San Antonio.

It starts with the All-Star Games. Duncan played in 15 of them, being in every one from 2000-11. He did this while averaging a double-double in every season from 1997-98 to 2009-10, before seeing his role slightly reduced on the Spurs for the next six seasons.

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Duncan earned two NBA MVPs (2002, 2003) and three Finals MVP awards (1999, 2003, 2005). It’s representative of his success in the early 2000’s, when he was one of the NBA’s best players and the best player on historically great teams.

To cap it off, the Big Fundamental won five NBA championships (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014). It cemented his legacy as one of the best NBA players ever and a top member of the Spurs’ franchise. This should lead to him getting a high rating on the All-Time team, around a 95 or 96 rating, with the potential for 97.

Duncan will be the best player on the Spurs’ All-Time team on NBA 2K18. Who fills out at center, just below him?

Next: David Robinson

SAN ANTONIO, TX – JUNE 15: David Robinson
SAN ANTONIO, TX – JUNE 15: David Robinson

C David Robinson

To round out the San Antonio Spurs’ All-Time team in NBA 2K18, David Robinson will play center. He’s, by far, the best to play this position for the franchise, even with Artis Gilmore’s success in the 1980’s.

Robinson was selected No. 1 overall in the 1987 NBA Draft, but due to his commitment to the Navy, had to wait two years before an official debut. It was worth it, however, as when he arrived in 1989, the Spurs learned they had one of the best big men in the NBA.

From the start, Robinson averaged 24 points and 12 rebounds per game. He topped this by leading the league in rebounding in the 1990-91 season (13.0 per game) and 25.6 points.

For the rest of the Admiral’s career, he dominated the paint and became a force on the defensive end. He averaged a ridiculous 4.5 blocks per game in the 1991-92 season, something rarely done in the NBA.

In NBA 2K18, Robinson should be as dominant as he was in the Association. It will be the rim-protecting center manning the paint, while Tim Duncan plays the four, just like 1997-2003.

Must Read: 25 forgotten players that were on the Spurs

This completes the All-Time team for the San Antonio Spurs in NBA 2K18. Who should make the squad in the video game? Who won’t?

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