David Robinson: New 2013 FIBA Hall of Fame Inductee's Career Highlights
Add another accolade to the Admiral’s list of accomplishments.
According to the New York Times, David Robinson is one of 12 people who will be part of the 2013 FIBA Hall of Fame class. For those who might not know, FIBA is the International Basketball Federation. It is known as FIBA from its French name, Fédération Internationale de Basketball.
The ceremony will take place on June 19. Along with Robinson, other notable names in the 2013 class are former Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt and four-time Olympic gold medalist Teresa Edwards.
So in honor of David Robinson’s induction to the FIBA Hall of Fame, here is a look at a few memorable moments in his outstanding basketball career.
Rookie of the Year
In 1990 David was named the Rookie of the Year with his phenomenal performance on the court. In the previous year before Robinson joined the team, the Spurs had a record of 21-61. Robinson helped turn the team around by helping them win 35 more games. The Spurs finished in first place in the Midwest Division.
In his rookie season Robinson averaged 24.3 points, 12 rebounds and 3.89 blocks per game.
Defensive Player of the Year
Robinson put on a defensive clinic in the 91-92 season, which earned him Defensive Player of the Year honors. Even though his season ended early that year due to a hand injury, he still made an impression with the voters to win that award.
Robinson was in the top 10 in several stat categories that year:
23.2 PPG (first), 12.2 RPG (fourth), 4.49 blocks (first), 2.32 steals per game (fifth) and .551 field-goal percentage (seventh).
This was David’s second time on the U.S. Men’s Basketball team. His first time playing for the United States ended with a bronze medal.
1992 was a whole different story. He was part of the greatest team ever assembled, the "Dream Team." Along with Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and other Hall of Famers, Robinson helped the United States dominate that year in the Olympics, taking home the gold.
David was also a part of the 1996 U.S. Men’s team that won the gold as well.
Robinson Scores 71 Points in a Game
During a game against the Los Angeles Clippers in 1994, David Robinson scored 71 points. He played 44 minutes and had a night for the ages. Along with his 71 points, he was able to snag 14 rebounds and had five assists.
That was the final game of the regular season. His point total in that game brought his scoring average that year to 29.8. That performance helped him win the NBA scoring title by edging out Orlando's Shaquille O'Neal, who had an average of 29.3 points per game.
Robinson became only the fourth NBA player ever to score 70 or more points in a game (Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, David Thompson). Kobe Bryant joined that select company in 2006.
After finishing second place in the1994 MVP vote to Rockets center Hakeem Olajuwon, Robinson finally won the award in 1995. During that season he led the Spurs to the NBA’s best record, which locked up the No. 1 seed for San Antonio in the Western Conference.
His MVP-winning season also earned him his sixth consecutive All-Star appearance. Even though Robinson beat out Olajuwon for MVP, Hakeem got the last laugh by beating the Spurs in the playoffs.
Top of the World
David Robinson had finally emerged onto the NBA’s No. 1 stage, the NBA Finals. Along with Tim Duncan, Robinson guided the Spurs to the NBA’s best record in 1999.
The Spurs faced a New York Knicks team that was without Patrick Ewing, which allowed San Antonio to dominate that series 4-1. This was the first NBA Championship for the franchise.
Winning a title allowed people to start talking about Robinson as one of the best centers to play in the NBA.
Not that many athletes have the luxury of going out on top. David Robinson was able to say he walked away from the game a champion. Just like John Elway, who ended his career as a Super Bowl champion, David Robinson retired from the NBA after winning a second championship with San Antonio in 2003.
2003 was Robinson’s last year in the NBA, and it was the same year that the Spurs beat the New Jersey Nets in the NBA Finals. Robinson had already passed the torch to Tim Duncan a few years back, but still contributed to the team with his play and veteran leadership.
Winning another ring was the exclamation point for Robinson before he said goodbye to a very memorable NBA career.
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
His NBA career started with winning the NBA Rookie of the Year award and ended with an NBA Finals title. Always a professional on and off the court, Robinson became a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee in 2009.
The Admiral was named as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history. Besides all of the awards and trophies, David was a team player. When Tim Duncan was drafted by the Spurs, Robinson never let his ego get the better of him. He worked with Duncan every step of the way, which ultimately helped lead the franchise to win two NBA titles.
Never selfish or cocky, Robinson was a coach’s dream. He led by example and always put the team first. I remember watching him play, and his critics said he was too nice to win a title. Well thankfully, his critics were wrong—and this was a case where a “nice guy” was able to come out on top time and time again.