San Antonio has experienced most of its glory days in basketball in the 21st century. Through the basketball heroes of San Antonio, they have solidified themselves as regular playoff and title contenders every year for two straight decades.
This article will list the most iconic basketball players that gave honor to the city of San Antonio through its five successful runs at the NBA Championship.
Tim Duncan is arguably the best San Antonio Spurs player of all time, leading the club in several statistical categories such as points, rebounds, and blocks. He is also responsible for giving five NBA championships to the city of San Antonio throughout his two-decade career.
David Robinson, or “The Admiral”, could have easily been the number 1 San Antonio Spurs player of all time. However, he was pushed second from Tim Duncan primarily because he never won a championship for San Antonio prior to Duncan’s arrival to the team.
However, he is the only Spurs player to win Rookie of the Year, MVP trophy, and Defensive Player of the Year awards throughout his career.
Tony Parker is one of the three 21st century Big Three in San Antonio, which easily places him as one of the greatest San Antonio players. Also, being only 28th pick in 2001 NBA draft, expectations were low for Tony Parker until he became the best floor general that the Spurs ever had since Avery Johnson.
Manu Ginobili could have been above Tony Parker on this list. However, due to the coaching staff’s decision to place him at the sixth spot throughout his career, his statistics are not as high as it could have been.
Yet, Manu came up for San Antonio during the most crucial moments in their championship series, especially with the Detroit Pistons in 2005.
Kawhi Leonard is only 24 years old, but he has already earned a spot as one of the basketball heroes of the city of San Antonio. Having earned the nickname, “The Claw”, he continues to show his defensive presence in floor while being the go-to offensive option for San Antonio today.
San Antonio has never lacked defensive presence on the floor prior to Kawhi Leonard’s arrival because of Bruce Bowen. In fact, he is known as one of the best wing defenders not only in San Antonio, but also across the league during his career.
Although several players brand Bruce as a dirty player, he still has the clean reputation of pestering offensive go-to guys of the opposing team during crucial moments.
Robert Horry, or “Big Shot Bob”, is one of the greatest clutch shooters of all time despite averaging only six points during his tenure in San Antonio. He is one of the best San Antonio Spurs player because he came to rescue the Spurs during their playoffs run, ultimately leading to a championship.
Although Boris Diaw is not an exceptional player as the others on this list, he plays a key role in the Spurs’ glory days that defeated the Miami Heat’s Big Three, which is composed of future Hall of Famers, Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh.
Diaw’s versatility in playing multiple positions made him the person that connects all five people in the team on the defensive end. His passing ability also creates various opportunities for his teammates.
Through these exceptional individuals, the city of San Antonio has created a franchise that has become the model organization among all basketball franchises in America.