"The Admiral" knew he was done. After winning his second NBA Championship in 2003 it was his time. Time to say goodbye to the game that he loved, made him millions of dollars, and added to the aura that was and still is, David Robinson.
Robinson is more than just one of the greatest centers to ever touch a basketball hardwood. He is also one of the most influential in the public eye.
Robinson and his wife, Valerie, created the Carver Academy in 2001 to house students of all ability levels and financial situations. The school is located on the east side of San Antonio. The Robinsons have donated well over $10 million to the academy as its students regularly rank in the top percentiles in the country on their Aptitude Tests.
Robinson also regularly visits Make-a-Wish children, is an avid member of NBA's Read to Achieve Program, gives anti-drug, gang, disability awareness, and sportsmanship presentations.
In a league where toughness, tattoos, and street credibility were/are the expected form of expression, Robinson kept his mind and skin clean from the pressures of everyday life.
He also let his game speak for itself.
Robinson was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history in 1996, won an MVP award in 1994-1995, scored 71 points on the last day of that season, won a scoring title, and won two championships playing his entire career for the San Antonio Spurs.
Robinson was also the mentor for arguably the greatest power forward of all time, current Spur Tim Duncan.
When Duncan was drafted by the Spurs #1 overall in 1997, the #1 overall pick of 1987 helped Duncan develop his game. After a loss to Utah in the 1997-1998 playoffs, head coach Greg Popovich started to center the offense around Duncan. Robinson's reaction? Go for it.
How does the face of a franchise still within some of the best years of his career simply hand over the reins to a second year player? The 2001 Sportsmanship Award Winner wanted to win and was sick of underachieving in the playoffs.
Robinson's selfish gene must've gone missing at birth, because one of the game's great philanthropists on the court is an even better role model off of it.
The ultimate proof is the renaming of the award he won in 2001.
"The David Robinson Sportsmanship Award," named after the legend in the media and the court, is truly a legendary honor.