2. David Robinson (1989-2003)
While George Gervin put San Antonio basketball on the map, David Robinson kept them there long enough to have a chance at a historically glorious run. It's hard to even fathom how someone with his 7-1, 235-pound frame could do what he did on a nightly basis, and he made it all look so easy while doing it.
Running the floor faster than just about anybody and never running out of energy, what The Admiral did on the basketball court was flat-out unfair. Yes, bigs are supposed to block shots and throw down dunks. They're not supposed to take the ball coast-to-coast though. And they're not supposed to bury mid-range jumpers in your face on the way to 71 points.
I started following the Spurs as a local fan around 1995, so I only caught about half of his career, but it was hard to believe what I was watching even more so in person.
Still, what made his fit in San Antonio with Gregg Popovich even better was the kind of person he was off the court. The only thing bigger than Robinson's biceps was his heart.
Founding the Carver Academy in 2001, which offers education through scholarships in San Antonio, he's since donated over $11 million to the school. That was just one of the many big things he's done for the city and the world. He also recently became a member of the board of directors for the V Foundation for Cancer Research.
The Spurs' culture that's become so legendary all started with Mr. Robinson, and he established himself as a franchise superstar on the court in the process. Retiring as a two-time NBA champion, here's where he stands on the franchise leaderboards.
- 4th in games played, 3rd in minutes
- 4th in field goals
- 1st in free throws
- 2nd in total rebounds
- 7th in total assists
- 2nd in total steals
- 2nd in total blocks
- 3rd in total points
- 2nd in triple-doubles
Highlight: David Robinson goes out a champion, and his swan song game is loud. He puts up 13 points and grabs 17 boards to help clinch his second NBA title at age 37 against New Jersey.
Despite his greatness, the Spurs still couldn't quite get over the championship hurdle -- until a single ping pong ball in 1997 changed everything.