David “The Admiral” Robinson. He was the first player of his kind. A man amongst boys when he first came into the league, David Robinson was 24 years old when he got to the league due to serving his active-duty obligation for the United States Navy. Robinson exemplified leadership in his first season as a San Antonio Spur in 1989. This two-time NBA champion was the forefront to what we know as the San Antonio Spurs today, the best NBA franchise of the past decade.
When the Spurs were playing without Robinson due to his active service, they were a disappointing 21-61 in the 1988-1989 season. Once Robinson signed with the Spurs his rookie season, the team had the best single-season turnaround in NBA history going 56-26 the next season. As I said earlier, Robinson was a man among boys when he first entered this league, averaging 24.3 points per game his rookie season. A 10-time All-Star selection, Robinson had a historic statistical career to say the least. He has one of the best single-game performances when he scored 71 points against the Los Angeles Clippers in 1994.
Robinson would eventually go on to win the MVP award in 1995 and was voted as a part of the 50 greatest players in NBA history in 1996 (Note: Robinson still had seven years left to go in his career).
Robinson had a defensive presence unlike any other. He had 10 or more blocks on ten different occasions during his career. An eight-time All-Defensive team selection, Robinson also won Defensive Player of the Year in 1992 to go along with plenty of other awards he would win throughout his career. David Robinson was a player that I feel that can’t ever be replicated. He was such a scoring and defensive threat for such a long period of time that there is no reason he couldn’t be considered one of the best big men of all time.
Robinson “The Leader”
David Robinson was an ambassador for the NBA along with being the great player that he was. The Admiral won the NBA Sportsmanship Award in 2001. The award is given to the player who shows the most ethical behavior and integrity on and off the court. Robinson was known for his charity work off of the court and was known as one of the best team leaders during his era. Tim Duncan came into the league in 1997 to team up with David Robinson. This was the best thing that could have happened for Duncan as he learned under the wing of Robinson. They would define the term “twin towers” in my opinion as they would be one of the best big men duo’s of their era. They won two NBA titles together in 1999 and 2003 and showed that big men with complimenting guard play can create great success.
One could make the argument that David “The Admiral” Robinson was the best big man of his era. Even if one were to disagree, it can’t go unnoticed what impact Robinson had for the NBA on and off the court. It is something that players in the league today should really take notice of.