As I wrote yesterday, there are several former and current NBA players who would have made perfect San Antonio Spurs. Their on-court play, off-court demeanor, and general attitude towards winning make me sad they never got the chance to suit up in the Alamo City.
While there are five players who made perfect Spurs but never got the chance, there are also five players who never played for San Antonio and fans should be thankful every single day that they never called southern Texas home. It’s easy to say that bums or players who never really found any NBA success would be bad Spurs, but that’s a universal statement for all NBA teams.
I’ve picked five players who had or are having successful NBA careers but would have made me renounce my Spurs fandom if San Antonio went after them via trade or free agency. All five have made All-Star appearances, and four of them are either in the Hall of Fame or are surefire candidates when their time comes. Let the countdown begin.
1. Dwight Howard
I ended my "best Spurs that never were" list by saying Ben Wallace would have been the perfect Spur. Dwight Howard was, at a time, also a defensive stud and rebounding machine. He also led the league in blocks twice. His defense-first attitude suggests that he would have been an excellent Spur, but the rest of his resumé suggests the Spurs were better off without him even in his prime.
First, Dwight Howard was a diva. His feud with Shaq was childish at best and a complete distraction.
He signed with the Lakers to win with Kobe Bryant and got fed up when Kobe wanted to win by working. He teamed up with Kobe, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash, and Metta World Peace in an attempt to win what was, on paper, an easy championship for the 2013 Lakers. He was gone after one season. Teaming up with Mike D’Antoni is never a good idea when you want to win, and Dwight helped prove that.
On the Magic, he did manage to almost single-handedly lead Orlando to an NBA Finals appearance in 2009, where they got crushed by the Lakers. The Magic finished that season second in 3-point attempts per game and sixth in percentage. They did this because Dwight wanted the paint all to himself, so they surrounded him with four shooters at any given time.
He scored 20 points and grabbed almost 14 rebounds, leading the league, but it was only because the Stan Van Gundy offense allowed him to stat-pad in a very friendly offensive scheme.
Dwight had some early season success, but only because he was the system. As a Spur, he would have been able to play team basketball and want to win championships, not individual accolades, which he clearly was not interested in.