5. Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant is one of the better NBA players ever and helped create one of the best recent NBA rivalries between the Lakers and Spurs in the 2000s. But he would not have been a good Spur. His work ethic, defensive prowess, and commitment to winning can never be questioned, but he simply would not have been a positive addition on any Spurs teams.
Bryant scored a lot, but he wasn’t efficient about it. Bryant never really shared the ball. He ran Dwight Howard out of town, which is a huge positive, but he also made Shaq and Phil Jackson call it quits, which is a huge negative.
Kobe Bryant needed the ball to win. A good Spur does not. A San Antonio Spur can set up others to score and be happy about it. A good Spur can see he has a shot but give it up to someone else who has an even better shot. That’s what Spurs basketball is all about.
Tim Duncan was a better player than Kobe Bryant, but even if he wasn’t, he still was better for San Antonio. Duncan saw when he needed to be the man, but he also allowed other players to make him better. Kobe had tunnel vision to a fault. Duncan was a model citizen by all accounts and Kobe Bryant was arrested for sexual assault.
Kobe could be a great player in the glitz of Los Angeles and inspire a generation to take poor, contested shots. He could win championships and MVPs and scoring titles, but he would not have been a good Spur.
Kobe cared about winning, but only to the extent that it was him winning. A true Spur should care about San Antonio winning.