A player having his jersey retired is one of the ultimate honors in the NBA. Once a number is hanging in the rafters, no one can ever wear that number for that team again. This is a tribute franchises don't take lightly, and as such, only a handful of iconic players ever earn this distinction.
The San Antonio Spurs have a storied history of players that helped build them into one of the best organizations in the league, and several of those legends have their numbers retired. While younger fans might recognize recent honorees, the OG's of Spurs Nation know all the names like the back of their hand.
What numbers are retired by the San Antonio Spurs?
00 - Johnny Moore
6 - Avery Johnson
9 - Tony Parker
12 - Bruce Bowen
13 - James Silas
20 - Manu Ginobili
21 - Tim Duncan
32 - Sean Elliott
44 - George Gervin
50 - David Robinson
Backcourt players that have their number retired
Johnny Moore played seven seasons with San Antonio, averaging over nine points and seven assists per game for the Silver and Black. He also snagged two steals per game. Avery Johnson was another fan favorite who had several stints with the Spurs and was a member of the 1999 NBA Championship team. Johnson played 644 for the good guys and averaged 10.1 points and 6.9 assists per game.
Tony Parker, a 2023 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, was crucial to bringing four league titles to San Antonio, even winning the NBA Finals MVP in 2007. The speedy Frenchman avareged 15.8 points and 5.7 fimes per game in San Antonio, cementing himself as the greatest point guard in team history. We must also recognize James Silas, who poured in over 17 points per game for the Spurs between their ABA and NBA beginnings.
Manu Ginobili isn't from the 2-1-0, but the Argentinian is one of San Antonio's adopted sons. He was a two-time All-Star, a four-time champion, and spent his entire 16-year career with the Silver and Black. The 6-foot-6 swingman only averaged around 13 points per game, but he earned his spot in the Hall of Fame thanks to his international resume and unrivaled production as a sixth man.
George “The Iceman” Gervin is a name old school Spurs fans remember well. The smooth scorer was an unstoppable force in 70s and 80s, averaging over 27 points per game while leading San Antonio to multiple playoff appearances. The legendary swingman was a nine-time All-Star, a Hall of Famer, and a member of the NBA's 75th Anniversary Team.
Frontcourt players that have their number retired
Defensive stopper and quintesential glue guy Bruce Bowen made five-time all-defensive teams and won three championships with the Spurs. While his offense isn't quite as prolific as the other players in the rafters, he locked down some of the best scorers in the league on a nightly basis during his 630 games with San Antonio.
The number 21 needs no introduction. Tim Duncan spent 19 seasons with San Antonio and is widely regarded as the greatest power forward of all time. The Big Fundamental averaged 19.0 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game as the foundation of the Spurs dynasty, which earned him a spot in the Hall of Fame.
Sean Elliott donned number 32 for the Spurs. He was a member of the 1999 title team and became a broadcaster for San Antonio when he retired from the NBA. His superstar teammate and my personal favorite Spur of all time, David Robinson, wore number 50. The Admiral averaged a double-double for his career, won two championships, and was named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history.
Which Spurs do you think are next in line to have their jerseys raised into the rafters?