The San Antonio Spurs Role Player Bracket Challenge concluded with a resounding victory by small forward Bruce Bowen, a three-time champ with the team.
After weeks of voting and deliberation amongst San Antonio Spurs fans, the greatest role player in franchise history has been crowned! Defensive-phenomenon Bruce Bowen, a 6-foot-7 small forward with cunning instincts and a cutthroat approach to the game, played eight seasons in the River City and was a part of three championship runs in 2003, 2005 and 2006.
Bowen was an elite 3-and-D player, setting the mold for a new landscape of small forwards that’s become idealized in the modern NBA. He played 630 games in a Spurs jersey for a grand total of 18689 minutes. He ranks ninth in terms of career totals, putting him above the likes of James Silas, Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard.
Furthermore, Bowen ranks fourth in both three-point field goals made and three-pointers attempted for a Spurs career. He shot 40.5 percent, which is the seventh-best percentage of any player in franchise history despite being way higher up in total attempts compared with the rest of his competition.
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The most telling of his stats, however, is that Bowen is fifth in all-time defensive win shares with 27.0 total. This puts him ahead of the great and powerful George Gervin and Leonard but just behind the likes of Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, David Robinson and Tim Duncan.
Bowen’s ability to impose himself on any defensive assignment is what made him one of the best Spurs in franchise history. Whether it be an All-Star, a Hall of Famer, or a simple rotation player, Bowen methodically picked apart his opposition by asserting himself both physically and mentally.
The runner-up is current-day point guard Patty Mills, who surged the Spurs off the bench in the 2014 NBA Finals and has been a pillar of team culture ever since. Mills recently moved up to second in three-pointers made in franchise history and continues to fill in any way he needs to along the way.
We’ll have a more complete breakdown of the bracket coming soon but for now, let’s celebrate our champion and one of the most decorated players in Spurs history.