San Antonio Spurs: Top 25 players in franchise history

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LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 3: (Left to Right) Bruce Bowen
LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 3: (Left to Right) Bruce Bowen
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INGLEWOOD, CA – 1988: James Worthy
INGLEWOOD, CA – 1988: James Worthy

11. Mike Mitchell

The 1980’s San Antonio Spurs didn’t find the success the teams of the 1990’s had, but they were still full of quality talent. It started with Johnny Moore, George Gervin, and Artis Gilmore, but also featured shooting guard Mike Mitchell.

In the 1981-82 NBA season, the Cleveland Cavaliers sent Mitchell to the Spurs for Ron Brewer and Reggie Johnson. Mitchell played terrific basketball for Cleveland having just given them back-to-back seasons of 22-plus points per game. So, when this organization sent him to San Antonio, it was in his prime, at age 26 and ready to produce some of the best years of his career.

From 1981-89, which was the end of the pre-David Robinson era, Mitchell had five seasons of 20-plus points per game with the Spurs. In his best years, he snagged between five and seven rebounds per game and only shot below 45 percent once. So, San Antonio received plenty of production from him that was not only quality but efficient.

None of this earned Mitchell an All-Star Game nod, however. It didn’t help he played next to Gervin, who was still dominating the NBA and slightly overshadowed him. Mitchell had one year to shine without the Iceman, as he put up 23.4 points in the 1985-86 season, before having a reduced role for the next two campaigns.

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