A Look Back: Spurs Win 1987 Draft Lottery and Select David Robinson as No. 1 Pick
Each week spurs.com will take a look back at some of the classic moments that dot the landscape for this storied franchise in a celebration of its history.
A Timeline of David Robinson’s Career
David Robinson spent all 14 years of his NBA career with the Silver and Black. Two NBA Championships, an NBA MVP award and his name covering the pages of the Spurs record books, we wanted to take a look back at Robinson’s career over the years.
May 17, 1987: After finishing the 1986-87 season with a 28-54 record, the fourth-worst mark in the NBA, the Spurs needed some luck in the 1987 NBA Draft Lottery … Bob Bass was on hand for the Spurs at the Equitable Center Auditorium in New York (along with Bass was Spurs fan Roberto Pachecano who had won a team sponsored ‘lucky charm’ contest and brought along a bolo tie clasp with an inlaid red chameleon and an old iron spur) … after the Phoenix Suns logo was revealed for the second spot it was clear that the Spurs had won the lottery.
June 22, 1987: With the first overall pick in the 1987 NBA Draft the Spurs select David Robinson out of the U.S. Naval Academy … those words spoken by NBA Commissioner David Stern would change the history of the franchise for years to come … Robinson signed his first contract with the Spurs on November 6, 1987.
November 4, 1989: After serving a two-year commitment in the U.S. Navy working as a civil engineer at King’s Bay, Georgia, Robinson made his Spurs debut vs. the L.A. Lakers in front of a crowd of 15,868 in the HemisFair Arena … the Admiral posted 23 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Spurs to a 106-98 win … Robinson would go on to average 24.3 points, 12.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 3.89 blocks and 1.68 steals in 36.6 minutes during his rookie season and was the unanimous selection for the Rookie of the Year Award … he was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team and eanred NBA Rookie of the Month honors all six months … the Admiral was the only rookie in the 1990 All-Star Game and he set the Spurs club records for most points, rebounds and blocks in a single season by a rookie.
May 1992: Robinson was named the Defensive Player of the Year for the 1991-92 season joining Alvin Robertson as the only two Spurs players to win the award … he became just the third player in NBA history to be among the top 10 in five different categories: was eighth in scoring (23.2 ppg), fourth in rebounding (12.2 rpg), first in blocks (4.49 bpg), fifth in steals (2.32 spg) and sixth in FG percentage (55.1) ... the only others to accomplish the feat: Cliff Hagan in 1959-60 and Larry Bird in 1989-90 ... the Admiral was the first player in NBA history to be among the top five in rebounding, blocks and steals and was named to the All-NBA First Team and the All-Defensive First Team.
February 17, 1994: Robinson became just fourth player in NBA history to record quadruple-double with 34 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 blocks vs. Detroit … he joined Nate Thurmond, Alvin Robertson and Hakeen Olajuwon on the distinctive list.
April 24, 1994: In the final game of the 1993-94 season, Robinson scored a Spurs franchise record 71 points at the L.A. Clippers to edge out Shaquille O’Neal for the NBA Scoring Title … he is just one of five NBA players to score 70 or more in single game (along with Wilt Chamberlain, David Thompson, Elgin Baylor and Kobe Bryant).
May 23, 1995: Robinson was named the league’s MVP, the first player in Spurs history to receive the honor … averaged 27.6 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.23 blocks and 1.65 steals in 38.0 minutes leading the Spurs to a 62-20 record ... was among league leaders in five categories - was third in scoring, fourth in blocks, seventh in rebounding, 15th in steals and 15th in FG percentage.
Summer of 1997: Robinson and his wife, Valerie, donated $5 million to help create the Carver Academy, an independent school designed to serve pre-kindergarten through eighth grade students who primarily live on San Antonio’s east side.
June 25, 1999: The Admiral helped lead the Spurs to their first NBA Championship … Robinson recorded eight playoff double-doubles including four straight in the NBA Finals … he was the only Spur to score in double-figures in all 17 playoff games.
December 18, 1999: In Denver, Robinson played in his 710th game with the Spurs to pass George Gervin to become the team’s all-time NBA leader in games played … the Admiral finished his career having played in 987 regular season games, all with the Silver and Black.
May 7, 2001: Robinson is named the winner of the 2001 NBA Sportsmanship Award … the award goes to the player who best represents the ideals of sportsmanship on the court.
November 16, 2001: Robinson made Spurs history when he slammed down his 19,384th point at the 6:20 mark of the first quarter vs. Cleveland ... the Admiral passed George Gervin as the Spurs all-time NBA scoring leader ... Robinson finished his NBA career with 20,790 points.
May 24, 2002: At a press conference in the Carver Academy library, Robinson announced that the 2002-03 season would be his last in the NBA … he then announced that he and wife Valerie were donating an additional $4 million to the Carver Academy, making their total donation a whopping $9 million.
March 23, 2003: The NBA announced that in recognition of his outstanding efforts in the community and off the basketball court, the league re-named its award for outstanding charitable efforts after Robinson … the monthly NBA Community Assist Award winners now receive the David Robinson Plaque with the inscription, "Following the standard set by NBA Legend David Robinson, who improved the community piece by piece."
June 15, 2003: Robinson closed out his storied 14-year career on top helping propel the Spurs to their second NBA Championship … in his final game with the Silver and Black the Admiral finished with 13 points and 17 rebounds as the Spurs beat the New Jersey Nets 88-77 to win the series 4-2 … Robinson became just the fourth member (Bill Russell and Sam Jones (Boston – 1969) and Bill Sharman (Boston 1961)) of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players to win a championship in their final season.
November 10, 2003: Just months after playing in his final game the Spurs raised David Robinson’s No. 50 into the rafters of the AT&T Center … Robinson retired as the Spurs all-time leader in games, points, rebounds, steals and blocks … in his 14-year career he averaged 21.1 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.99 blocks in 987 regular season games … he is one of just five players to score over 20,000 points, grab over 10,000 rebounds and block over 2,500 shots in his career … the Admiral was named to the All-NBA Team 10 times and was an eight-time All-Defensive Team selection … he was the first player in NBA history to be named to both an All-NBA Team and an All-Defensive Team in each of his first seven seasons.