Top 5 steals leaders in Spurs franchise history filled with legends

Rookie of the Year Victor Wembanyama had an impressive season with steals too, prompting a look back at the San Antonio Spurs top 5 steals leaders.
Tony Parker
Tony Parker / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
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During the season, there were so many things to be impressed by when watching Rookie of the Year Victor Wembanyama that it was easy to overlook particular facets of his game. Though his steals were discussed, they were usually mentioned as a side note to his ridiculous block total, and with good reason. Undoubtedly, the blocks were the most electrifying aspect of his defense. The numbers were absurd but his steal stats were also special and deserve recognition.

Victor was second among all rookies in steals, averaging 1.2 steals per game. He only trailed Amen Thompson, who posted 1.3 per game. Among all players in the NBA, Wembanyama ranks 22nd and when you only look at big men, he only trailed Nikola Jokic, who ended the regular season with 1.4 per game.

The Spurs have a long history of talented defenders but the opportunistic ones hold a special place because live turnovers often lead to fast breaks, one of the most exciting plays in basketball. Being a great defender doesn't always translate to a ton of steals and vice versa, so some of the names on the list may surprise fans but all of these players were important to maintaining San Antonio's high standard of defense.

5. Tony Parker (1032)

Tony Parker wasn't known for his defense but he benefited from playing in a defensive system with one of the greatest rim protectors of all time, Tim Duncan. That anchor in the middle of the defense, paired with a strong team philosophy, allowed Tony to gamble in passing lanes, coming up with steals to ignite fast-break opportunities. As a one-man fast break, these plays could be backbreaking for opponents.

Don't get it twisted; this wasn't a main cog in TP's arsenal, as many fans will remember. It's mainly his second-place position for games played in franchise history that helps elevate him into the top five but it was still one small piece of the elegance that was Tony Parker.