A Look Back: The Bruise Brothers
The Bruise Brothers hold a special place in Spurs history which makes it easy to forget that the group played together for a very short period of time … after being ‘born’ during the 1980-81 season the group was broken up in the 1981-82 campaign (first Kevin Restani was waived on December 21, 1981, and, then, Reggie Johnson was traded on December 24) … by the start of the 1982-83 season only member of the Bruise Brothers still on the Spurs roster was Paul Griffin … here is a quick look at the six men who teamed together to make up the Bruise Brothers:
Mark Olberding (No. 53): Spent seven seasons in San Antonio … selected by the Spurs, from San Diego, in the 1975 ABA Dispersal Draft … traded to Chicago, along with Dave Corzine, on July 22, 1982 in exchange for Artis Gilmore … played one ABA season and 11 NBA seasons … was named to the 1975-76 ABA All-Rookie First Team … hit 10-of-10 from the field, finishing with 22 points, in Boston on 1/21/77 … enjoyed his best season in 1981-82 when he averaged 13.8 points and 6.5 rebounds for the Spurs.
Paul Griffin (No. 30): Played in San Antonio for four seasons … was obtained by the Spurs on July 20, 1979, as compensation from Utah after the Jazz signed Allan Bristow … retired following the 1982-83 season … played seven NBA seasons … averaged a career-best 6.3 points per game for the Spurs during the 1979-80 season.
Kevin Restani (No. 31): Spent two and a half seasons in San Antonio … obtained from Milwaukee on August 31, 1979, for cash considerations … waived by the Spurs on December 21, 1981 … played eight NBA seasons … during the 1979-80 campaign averaged a career-best 10.7 points per game … inducted into the University of San Francisco Athletics Hall of Fame in 1985.
George Johnson (No. 52): Played two seasons with the Spurs … signed by San Antonio as a free agent on August 15, 1980 … traded to Atlanta in exchange for Jim Johnstone and a pair of second round draft picks on September 28, 1982 … led the NBA in blocked shots three times in his 13-year career (1977-78, 1980-81 and 1981-82) … holds the Spurs franchise record for the most blocks in a game with 13 vs. Golden State on 2/24/81 (in the game tied the NBA record for most blocks in a half with 11 in the second half) … a member of the Golden State Warriors 1975 NBA Championship team.
Dave Corzine (No. 40): Spent two seasons in San Antonio … obtained by the Spurs on September 26, 1980 from Washington in exchange for a pair of second round draft picks … traded to Chicago, along with Mark Olberding, in exchange for Artis Gilmore on July 22, 1982 … spent seven of his 13 NBA seasons with the Bulls … one of the top players in DePaul history: ranks third on the school’s all-time scoring list and is the Blue Demons all-time rebounding leader.
Reggie Johnson (No. 32): With the Spurs for just one and a half seasons … selected by San Antonio in the first round of the 1980 NBA Draft, with the 15th overall pick … traded to Cleveland, along with Ron Brewer, in exchange for Mike Mitchell and Roger Phegley on December 24, 1981 … played four seasons in the NBA … won an NBA Championship in 1983 with the Philadelphia 76ers … in 2009 was one of 20 men named to University of Tennessee’s All-Century Team.