David Robinson's Hall of Fame Career
David Robinson spent four years at Navy before being selected by the San Antonio Spurs with the No. 1 pick in the 1987 NBA draft. After completing his two-year commitment to the Navy, the Admiral joined the Spurs in 1989.
Robinson set a Division I record with 207 blocked shots (5.91 per game) in 1985-1986, including a record 14 in a game against UNC Wilmington. As the national player of the year in 1986-87, Robinson averaged 28.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.5 blocks.
The 7-foot-1 center spent his entire 14-year career with the Spurs. Along with winning two championships and finishing with career averages of 21.1 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.99 blocks, Robinson was named 1990 Rookie of the Year, 1992 Defensive Player of the Year and 1995 MVP. He was honored as one of the NBA's 50 greatest players in 1996.
In his first pro season, Robinson more than held his own against the likes of fellow former No. 1 pick Patrick Ewing. Robinson won the 1989-90 Rookie of the Year award, averaging 24.3 points, 12.0 rebounds and 3.89 blocks while leading the Spurs to a 35-win improvement and an appearance in the Western Conference semifinals.
The original Dream Team included Robinson, who shared the starting center job with Patrick Ewing at the 1992 Olympics. Robinson won a gold medal in Barcelona and followed it up with another one in Atlanta four years later.
Robinson shredded the Clippers for 71 points in the 1993-94 season finale, raising his season average to 29.8 as he edged Shaquille O'Neal (29.3) for the scoring title.
For all his individual excellence, Robinson didn't reach the NBA Finals in any of his first nine seasons. That included the 1994-95 season, when he won MVP honors but was outplayed by Hakeem Olajuwon in the Western Conference finals.
Robinson made the All-NBA and All-Defensive teams in each of his first seven seasons. He's also one of four players in NBA history to record a quadruple-double. ''No center in the history of the game did the athletic things that David did in his prime,'' Spurs coach Gregg Popovich told SI.
Led by Robinson and second-year frontcourt mate Tim Duncan, the Spurs beat the Knicks in the NBA Finals in the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season.
Robinson had a chilly relationship with Shaquille O'Neal, his rival in the pivot and in the Western Conference playoffs during Shaq's time with the Lakers. Apparently upset with the Admiral for his tepid response to O'Neal's autograph request years earlier, Shaq referred to him as ''Punk Ass David Robinson'' in his book 'Shaq Talks Back.' O'Neal also wrote that he wanted to dominate Robinson on the court ''because I got tired of the goody-two-shoes image he was throwing out there.''
Robinson capped his career with a championship in 2003 as the Spurs beat the Nets in the NBA Finals.
Drafted No. 1 by the Spurs a decade apart, Robinson and Tim Duncan were SI's 2003 Sportsmen of the Year. The big men won as much for their work in the San Antonio community as they did for helping the Spurs win the NBA title that year. Robinson has been well-known over the years for donating his time and money to charitable causes.