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Top Ten San Antonio Spurs of All-Time

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The 2010/11 NBA season is almost upon us, but we’re still living in the past at The Hoops Manifesto.  We’ve gathered together a stellar collection of Bloguin basketball writers to determine the top ten players all-time for each of the 30 NBA franchises.  Next up: the San Antonio Spurs (Dallas/Texas Chaparrals). 

Voting panel: Jeff Fox from The Hoops Manifesto, College Wolf from the TWolves Blog; Don from With Malice and Philip from Orlando Magic Daily.

 

10) Alvin Robertson – San Antonio Spurs – 1984 -1989

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Spurs accomplishments:

- ninth all-time in steals in NBA history
- all-time leader in steals per game in NBA history
- NBA leader in steals in 1985/86 & 1986/87
- NBA leader in steals per game in 1985/86 & 1986/87
- one-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year
- one-time NBA Most Improved Player
- three-time NBA All-Star
- one-time All-NBA selection
- four-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection

“Only a handful of guards have ever won the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award, and Alvin Robertson is one of those select few.  He’s also the greatest thief in NBA history.” – Jeff Fox

9) Artis Gilmore – San Antonio Spurs – 1982 – 1987

Spurs accomplishments:

- NBA leader in games played in 1986/87
- NBA leader in field goal % in 1982/83 & 1983/84
- two-time NBA All-Star

“Gilmore was on the decline when he arrived in San Antonio. But the center still had a solid four or five seasons in San Antonio. He was a two-time All-Star and helped San Antonio to a few playoff berths while continuing to be a solid rebounder and low-post scorer.” – Philip

8) James Silas – San Antonio Spurs – 1972 – 1981

Chaparrals/Spurs accomplishments:

- jersey number (13) retired by franchise
- ABA leader in free throws made in 1975/76
- two-time ABA All-Star
- two-time All-ABA selection
- ABA All-Rookie Team

“San Antonio only has six retired jersey numbers hanging in their rafters, and “Captain Late”, James Silas, is one of them.” – Jeff Fox

7) Sean Elliott – San Antonio Spurs – 1989 – 1993, 1994 – 2001

Spurs accomplishments:

- jersey number (32) retired by franchise
- member of the 1999 Spurs NBA championship team
- NBA leader in games played in 1990/91 & 1998/99
- two-time NBA All-Star
- NBA All-Rookie Team

“Who could forget the “Memorial Day Miracle“?  A crowd favourite, and one of the most amazing comebacks in NBA history – coming back from kidney disease to return to the Spurs.  A vital cog in the Spurs machine that won the ’99 Title.” – Don

6) Avery Johnson – San Antonio Spurs – 1991, 1992 – 1993, 1994 – 2001

Spurs accomplishments:

- jersey number (6) retired by franchise
- member of the 1999 Spurs NBA championship team
- franchise all-time leader in assists
- NBA leader in games played in 1994/95 & 1998/99

“Best point guard for the Spurs, and it’s emotional leader/floor general during their first title run.  (Spurs) all-time leader in assists, top ten in points/steals too.  Can’t be overstated how important his presence was in that first title run.” – Don

5) Manu Ginobili – San Antonio Spurs – 2002 – present

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Spurs accomplishments:

- member of three Spurs NBA championship team
- franchise all-time leader in three-pointers (made & attempted)
- one-time NBA All-Star
- one-time NBA Sixth Man of the Year
- one-time All-NBA selection
- NBA All-Rookie Team

“The anti-Spur, due to his penchant for playing with reckless abandon, Manu Ginobili’s creativity and aggressiveness has proven to be the perfect ingredient for the robotic Spurs.” – Jeff Fox 

4) Tony Parker – San Antonio Spurs – 2001 – present

Spurs accomplishments:

- member of three Spurs NBA championship team
- one-time NBA Finals MVP
- three-time NBA All-Star
- one-time All-NBA selection
- NBA All-Rookie Team

“There is nothing particularly amazing about anything that Parker has done. He is an average shooter (and that is generous). But like his running partner Tim Duncan, he just does what he needs to do and does it quietly. He manages Gregg Popovich’s offense perfectly and is great at finding holes in the defense and the right teammate to pass to.” – Philip

3) George Gervin – San Antonio Spurs – 1974 – 1985

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Spurs accomplishments:

- basketball Hall of Fame
- jersey number (44) retired by the franchise
- franchise all-time leader in field goals (made & attempted) & points
- ninth all-time in blocks in ABA history
- seventh all-time in points per game in ABA history
- eighth all-time in points per game in NBA history
- ABA leader in games played in 1974/75
- NBA leader in field goals made in 1977/78, 1978/79, 1979/80 & 1981/82
- NBA leader in field goals attempted in 1978/79, 1979/80 & 1981/82
- NBA leader in points in 1977/78, 1978/79, 1979/80 & 1981/82
- NBA leader in points per game in 1977/78, 1978/79, 1979/80 & 1981/82
- 11-time ABA/NBA All-Star
- nine-time All-ABA/NBA selection

“The Iceman was San Antonio’s first true superstar.  Fluid in motion, with devastating moves, Gervin always seemed to find enough space to complete his signature finger roll.  Still leads the Spurs scoring table, and in his day was one of the most exciting players in the game.” – Don

2) David Robinson – San Antonio Spurs – 1989 – 2003

Spurs accomplishments:

- basketball Hall of Fame
- jersey number (50) retired by the franchise
- member of two Spurs NBA championship teams
- franchise all-time leader in games, free throws (made & attempted), offensive rebounds, steals & blocks
- fifth all-time in blocks in NBA history
- fourth all-time in blocks per game in NBA history
- NBA leader in games played in 1989/90 & 1990/91
- NBA leader in free throws made in 1993/94, 1994/95 & 1995/96
- NBA leader in free throws attempted in 1993/94 & 1995/96
- NBA leader in defensive rebounds in 1995/96
- NBA leader in total rebounds in 1990/91 & 1995/96
- NBA leader in blocks in 1990/91 & 1991/92
- NBA leader in points in 1993/94
- NBA leader in rebounds per game in 1990/91
- NBA leader in blocks per game in 1991/92
- NBA leader in points per game in 1993/94
- 10-time NBA All-Star
- NBA Rookie of the Year
- NBA All-Rookie Team
- one-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year
- one-time NBA MVP
- 10-time All-NBA selection
- seven-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection

“The Admiral was just simply a class act. It did not matter that he never won with San Antonio until Tim Duncan come on the scene, he played with a class about him that seemed to make winning not matter. Let alone the fact that he was a dominant offensive force and perhaps the most athletic big man to ever play the game. He was always bested by his contemporary Hakeem Olajuwon, but Robinson still did some pretty incredible things wearing the fiesta warmups.” – Philip

“The Admiral.  A defensive monster who could also score, Robinson was a beast throughout his NBA career.  However… even tho’ he won an MVP in ’95, it wasn’t really until he became half of the vaunted Twin Towers frontcourt that he got his first ring.” – Don

1) Tim Duncan – San Antonio Spurs – 1997 - present

Spurs accomplishments:

- member of four Spurs NBA championship teams
- franchise all-time leader in minutes & defensive & total rebounds
- NBA leader in games played in 1997/98 & 1998/99
- NBA leader in field goals made in 2001/02
- NBA leader in free throws made in 2001/02
- NBA leader in defensive rebounds in 2001/02
- NBA leader in total rebounds in 2001/02
- three-time NBA Finals MVP
- two-time NBA MVP
- 13-time All-NBA selection
- 13-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection
- 12-time NBA All-Star
- NBA Rookie of the Year
- NBA All-Rookie Team

“Duncan goes without saying as San Antonio’s best player. He quietly has gone about his business in winning four championship rings and becoming, perhaps, the greatest power forward in the league’s history. Duncan should probably go down as the greatest player of the 2000s, but his quiet demeanor made him largely unappreciated. Except in San Antonio.” – Philip

“It’s said that some dogs grow to look like their owners… the Spurs have certainly grown to look like their greatest ever player.  All business, getting the job done with the minimum of fuss or excitement.  That’s San Antonio.  That’s Tim Duncan.  Whether you consider him a power forward, or a center, it’s irrelevant.  History will remember Duncan as one of the greatest bigs ever.” – Don

 

Previous franchises done: Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Golden State, Houston, Indiana, Clippers, Lakers, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City/Seattle, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento.

About Jeff Fox

Jeff Fox is Mr. Manifesto - the Supreme Leader and evil mind behind The Hoops Manifesto & The MMA Manifesto

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