1. Avery Johnson
Also known as “Little General” for his leadership on the hardwood and also because he was only 5-foot-11, Avery Johnson bounced around the league and even had several stints with the Spurs before signing with them in 1994 and staying with the team until 2001.
This seven-year stint in San Antonio was his longest with any NBA team. It was during this time, specifically in the 1995-96 season, that Johnson put up a career-best 9.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game. During the 1999 NBA Playoffs, he put up 12.6 points and 7.4 assists per game and was instrumental in helping the Spurs win their first championship as he hit the game-winning jumper that killed the New York Knicks’ championship aspirations.
Avery Johnson may have hit the jumper that helped clinch the Spurs’ first title; but perhaps the thing he did that had the most impact was call a meeting and standing by Gregg Popovich when his job as the head coach was in jeopardy.
The Little General rallied the team behind their head coach, saving his job and providing the spark that kick-started an 18-season streak of 50 wins or more under the leadership of Popovich. His number six jersey hangs from the rafters at the home of the Spurs.