Throwback Thursday - David Robinson
David Maurice Robinson, born August 6, 1965, played center for the San Antonio Spurs for his entire career. Based on his prior service as an officer in the United States Navy, Robinson earned the nickname "The Admiral".
Robinson is a 10-time NBA All-Star, the 1995 NBA MVP, a two-time NBA Champion (1999 and 2003), a two-time Olympic Gold Medal winner (1992, 1996), a two-time Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee (2009 for his individual career, 2010 as a member of the 1992 United States men's Olympic basketball team), and a two-time U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame inductee (2008 individually, 2009 as a member of the 1992 Olympic team). He is widely considered one of the greatest centers in both college and NBA history.
To date, Robinson is the only player from Navy to play in the NBA. Robinson led the Spurs to the greatest single season turnaround in NBA history at the time (a record the Spurs themselves broke in 1997-98, after drafting Tim Duncan, which was then broken by the Boston Celtics in the 2007–08 NBA season). The Spurs leaped to a record of 56–26 for a remarkable 35 game improvement. They advanced to the second round of the Western Conference playoffs where they lost in seven games to the eventual conference champion Portland Trail Blazers. Following the 1989–90 season, he was unanimously named the NBA rookie of the year, and subsequently Sega produced a game featuring him entitled David Robinson's Supreme Court.
The Spurs made the playoffs seven more seasons in a row. Robinson also made the 1992 US Olympic Dream Team that won the gold medal in Barcelona. During the 1993–94 season, he became locked in a duel for the NBA scoring title with Shaquille O'Neal, scoring 71 points (breaking George Gervin's single-game franchise record of 63) against the Los Angeles Clippers to win it.
Robinson announced he would retire from basketball after the 2002–03 season.
On June 15, 2003, in the finale to Robinson's career, the Spurs won another NBA title with an 88–77 victory over the New Jersey Nets in Game 6 of the 2003 NBA Finals. Turning back the clock, Robinson scored 13 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in his final game for the Spurs. He and the year's regular season and NBA Finals MVP Tim Duncan shared Sports Illustrated magazine's 2003 Sportsmen of the Year award.
Robinson averaged 21.1 points per game, 10.7 rebounds per game, 3 blocks per game, and 2.5 assists per game over 987 games in his NBA career. Also, he is one of only a very small group of players to have scored over 20,000 career points in the NBA, as well as being one of only four players to have recorded a quadruple-double (with 34 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, and 10 blocks against the Detroit Pistons on February 17, 1994).
He is also one of the only five players to record more than 70 points in a single game with 71 points against the Los Angeles Clippers on April 24, 1994. Only Elgin Baylor (71 points), Wilt Chamberlain (70, 72, 73 twice, 78, 100 points), David Thompson (73 points), and Kobe Bryant (81 points) have scored more than 70 points in a single game.
Robinson is also noteworthy for his harmonious relationship with Tim Duncan. Sportswriter Chris Sheridan noted that it was rare for someone like Robinson to have welcomed and mentored Duncan as willingly as he did.