The San Antonio Spurs are one of the most successful teams of the last two decades, winning a total of five NBA titles between 1999 to 2014. They have won 22 division titles since joining the NBA and have missed the playoffs only four times. They won at least 50 games in a season from 1999-2017 and have made a record 22 straight ( and counting ) playoff appearances.
Here are the players who have forged the resume of the San Antonio Spurs over these years:
After David Robinson, the Spurs picked another big man with their #1 overall pick in 1997. San Antonio selected Tim Duncan from Wake Forest and he would lead the team to win its five NBA titles. Duncan played alongside Robinson at first and together, they won two titles. After the Admiral retired, Duncan would carve out his own legacy by winning three more NBA titles with the help of Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. The Big Fundamental was a two-time NBA MVP, three-time Finals MVP and a 10-time member of the All-NBA First team.
The Admiral was San Antonio’s first true franchise player. Robinson entered the NBA from Navy, the reason for his nickname. He was selected first overall in the 1987 draft and he played for the original Dream Team in the 1992 Olympics. Robinson was the most dominant center during his time. His ability to score on the inside and make the outside shot consistently added to his rebounding and shot-blocking prowess. The Admiral would team up with rookie Tim Duncan in 1999 to lead the Spurs to their first-ever NBA title. Robinson won two NBA titles with the Spurs and was the NBA’s MVP in 1995.
Manu Ginobili was a vital cog in four of San Antonio’s five NBA titles. This Argentinian southpaw was an uncanny score and intelligent defender who helped Tim Duncan and Tony Parker during the dynasty years. Ginobili played 23 seasons for the Spurs and is one of only two players to win both a Euroleague title and NBA championship. Ginobili was also the NBA’s 2008 Sixth Man of the Year. Whether it was starting or coming off the bench, Manu Ginobili was key to the Spurs’ success.
Tony Parker was a steal for the San Antonio Spurs at #28 in the 2001 NBA draft. After starring in France, Parker stole the show in San Antonio and became its floor general during four title runs. He took over from Avery Johnson and achieved more than what anybody had expected. Parker was the 2007 NBA Finals MVP, a six-time NBA All-Star and a four-time All-NBA team selection. Internationally, Parker was the 2013 Eurobasket MVP while playing for France. Although he was an erratic shooter, Parker’s ability to score on the inside made him a very potent offensive threat during his career.
George Gervin was one of the greatest scorers in the history of the NBA. Known as the Iceman because it was always believed that he had ice water running through his veins, Gervin was an unstoppable scoring machine who could put up the points in various ways. Gervin was a five-time member of the All-NBA First team and was the MVP of the 1980 NBA All-Star Game. The Iceman led the NBA in scoring in four different seasons and he finished with a career scoring average of 26.2 points per game. His #44 was retired by the Spurs and Gervin was among the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history.
Sean Elliott was the San Antonio Spurs’ 3rd overall pick in 1989 after a storied collegiate basketball career at Arizona. Elliott was the College Player of the Year in 1989 and a two-time NBA All-Star. He was one of San Antonio’s main offensive weapons during their first title run in 1999. Elliott will always be remembered for the Memorial Day Miracle where he made a three-pointer while tip-toeing out of bounds in the closing seconds of the Spurs’ Western Conference Finals match against the Portland Trail Blazers. Shortly after winning the NBA title, Elliott took time out to undergo a kidney transplant. He would return to play for three more seasons.
The Little General proved to be one of the most inspiring players on the Spurs’ first-ever NBA title win. He was the point guard who called the plays and dished off the passes to David Robinson and Tim Duncan. At 5-10, Johnson was undrafted in 1988 but found his way to the NBA via the Seattle Supersonics. He would also play for the Denver Nuggets before arriving in San Antonio in 1993. He was waived and would end up with the Warriors before a second tour of duty with the Spurs cemented his NBA legacy. Johnson made the go-ahead and championship-winning jump shot in Game 5 of the 1999 NBA Finals.
James Silas was the Houston Rockets’ 5th round pick in 1972. He played for the Dallas Chapparals before moving to the San Antonio Spurs after the 1972-73 season. It was with the Spurs where he became a household name. He would form a 1-2 punch with George Gervin, providing the Spurs with excellent offense and leadership. He was a two-time ABA All-Star, a member of the All-ABA First team in 1976, and All-NBA Second team in 1979. Silas ranked in the Top 10 in the league in free-throw shooting during six different seasons.
Johnny Moore played all but one game of his NBA career for the San Antonio Spurs. He was the 43rd overall pick of the Seattle SuperSonics in 1979 but ended up playing for the silver and black. Moore posted career averages of 9.4 points, 7.4 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.96 steals per game. But Moore is only one of nine players in NBA history to record at least 20 assists during a playoff game and is also one of only 50 different players to have at least nine steals in one game. A rare illness forced Moore to put his career on hold in 1986. He returned the following year but was never the same again.
While Bruce Bowen also makes the list for the “dirtiest” players in the NBA because he sticks out his leg towards his opponent when closing in, he was one of the top defenders in the entire NBA during his best years. Bowen was always tasked to do the dirty job of stopping the opposing team’s best scorer. Most of the time, he was successful, by hook or by crook. Bowen made a total of 8 All-NBA Defensive team selections. Later during his career, he also developed a respectable three-point shot that put him 2nd in the team’s all-time list during his retirement. And yes, he helped the Spurs win three NBA titles.