Tonight the San Antonio Spurs are home to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Spurs are 8-8 and currently in second place of the Southwest division of the NBA, and Philadelphia is 5-11 and in third place of the NBA’s Atlantic division.
However this game is more than just an early season inter-conference league tilt between the Spurs and the Sixers. After the game, the Spurs will pay tribute to arguably their most recognizable player, past or present, David Robinson.
Over his career, Robinson averaged 21.1 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game. Robinson, or The Admiral, as he is called, from his years at the Naval Academy, and his two year service commitment to our country as an actual navy man, was an NBA All Star 10 times, and the league MVP in the 1994-95 season, in which he recorded his career high for a season with 27.6 points per game.
For all his on the court accolades, Robinson’s off-the-court life displayed his quality character and community service. Ever the face of the Spurs, even after retirement, Robinson has always been a cordial and personable, even approachable, presence. His willingness to sign autographs for fans, and pleasant demeanor made him an instant fan favorite since his rookie year.
Robinson founded the George Washington Carver Community Center, a school for disadvantaged children in San Antonio, and serves on the board of directors. This service to the San Antonio community, on and off the court, has made Robinson a San Antonio and South Texas legend.
Robinson, along with several others, including Michael Jordan, were recently inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
For years, when someone mentioned San Antonio Spurs basketball, the first name that came to mind was George “The Iceman” Gervin. That was, until Robinson came along. George Gervin was known for his offense, specifically the “finger roll”. Sounds like Chinese food, doesn’t it? Gervin was not known for defense. I dare say he couldn’t guard me, effectively. David Robinson played the game at both ends of the court, and was a perennial NBA all defensive team player.
Robinson and Gervin never played together, but Robinson instilled the defensive mindset that Coach Gregg Poppovich had installed in the Spurs.
Robinson is being honored tonight, but he will always be an honor to San Antonio and the Spurs.