San Antonio Spurs Role Player Bracket Challenge Round One: Wings

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San Antonio Spurs

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – JUNE 06: Stephen Jackson #3 of the San Antonio Spurs reacts after a basket against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Six of the Western Conference Finals (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Popular players come up big in Wings bracket

Seeding was difficult because a certain conglomerate of players never had a fair shot in the bracket. The last three players in the bracket were forward Kyle Anderson, wing Jonathon Simmons and sophomore Lonnie Walker IV, who’ve all left their marks on the team throughout the last five seasons.

Walker, in particular, gained some traction as a 16th seed with 14.1 percent of votes. Even though Spurs fans expect him to be a big part of what’s to come, Walker has only just begun as a full-time member of the team’s rotation. He’s currently playing a role, though he has star potential, and may have put up a much better fight had he been slotted with a higher seed.

Though Simmons is a valued member of recent Spurs history, his story was better than his actual value to the team. Paying to try out for the Austin Spurs and working his way up the rotation, Simmons spent two years in the silver and black before pursuing a greater payout with the Orlando Magic in the summer of 2017.

He was someone fans rallied behind, as was Anderson, but they each moved on in favor of a greater role and lacked the time needed to advance in the bracket.

One of the most underrated players in Spurs history is Willie Anderson, who averaged 13.2 points and 4.2 assists per game across seven seasons in San Antonio. He played in the Alamo City from 1988-95 with his best season coming in his first year in the league. Anderson’s role grew lighter once franchise star David Robinson left the Navy and began playing for San Antonio, but he did a great job of filling the stat sheet while he was on the team.

Shooting guard Vinny Del Negro also spent a large portion of his career alongside Robinson, averaging 11.2 points and 3.6 assists on 48.2 percent from the floor in his Spurs career and slotted as the 11th seed against Brent Barry. Even though Barry’s time in San Antonio wasn’t as long as Del Negro’s, he left more of a lasting impression on many of the fans while Del Negro was a solid role player and not much more.

Both Roger Mason and Mario Elie spent two years off the bench in San Antonio, putting up moderate stat lines before moving on to different stages of their careers. Mason didn’t stand much of a chance against Stephen Jackson, but Elie put up a solid battle against Michael Finley.

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