San Antonio Spurs History

SA Spurs: 3 Past signings that show anything is possible

Kyle Forson
Vinny Del Negro
Vinny Del Negro / Focus On Sport/Getty Images
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San Antonio Spurs
Johnny Moore / Focus On Sport/Getty Images

San Antonio Spurs signing 1: Johnny Moore

Number 00, Johnny Moore, started his career playing alongside The Ice Man and ended it playing with The Admiral. The southpaw point guard took the Spurs on a playoff run in 1983 that saw them fall in the Western Conference Finals to the showtime Los Angeles Lakers in Game 6 when playing the Lakers deep in a playoff run was anything but a regular occurrence.

His jersey hangs high in the rafters in San Antonio to this day, and, of course, folks are familiar with this legend. The significance with Johnny Moore as it relates to free agency is that he played all but one of his 520 career NBA games for the Spurs. In 1987, San Antonio waived Moore, and he ended up in New Jersey for a few days and played one game for the Nets.

Long story short, he left New Jersey almost immediately, went to Mexico to ball for a year, and then the Spurs re-signed him in 1989, where he contributed to the second-greatest single-season turnaround in NBA history. He retired a year later.

The two details here with Moore is that no one catches the fact that what he also did was give us a preview of what was to come. Here we had a left-handed point guard guiding the Spurs to the WCF to play the Lakers. These exact things happened years later when Avery Johnson, another pick-up by San Antonio who is a left-handed point guard, guided the Spurs to their first title through multiple playoff battles with Los Angeles over the years. Just like Johnny Moore did.

Left-handed point guards are rare. Most clubs don’t get one, much less two. Is that some kind of karma, or a sign? Just a coincidence, you may say. Let's move on.

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