NBA center, 1989 to 2003.
Weight: 250 pounds
Nickname: The Admiral
David Robinson was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs with the first pick of the 1987 NBA Draft, after a standout college career at Navy. In Robinson's junior year, he set an NCAA record with 207 blocked shots for the season. He also led the nation in rebounding. Robinson was just warming up. In his senior year, he once again led the NCAA in shotblocking, averaged 28 points per game, and won both the Naismith Award and the John R. Wooden Award, given to the outstanding NCAA player of the year.
The fans in San Antonio would have to wait two full seasons to see Robinson on-court, as he completed a tour of duty in the US Navy. His rookie season was a spectacular one, as Robinson averaged 24 points and 12 rebounds, led the Spurs into the second round of the playoffs, and was the runaway winner of the Rookie of the Year award.
In 1991, his second season, Robinson upped his scoring average to 25.6, while also leading the league in rebounds and blocked shots. Robinson continued to post excellent numbers in the following seasons, but playoff success eluded the Spurs, as the Spurs simply did not have much going for them besides Robinson.
In 1994, Robinson enjoyed his best season, winning the league's scoring title, with 29.8 points per game. Robinson narrowly edged Shaquille O'Neal by dropping 71 points on the helpless Los Angeles Clippers on the final day of the season. Robinson also led the league in free throws made and attempted, while pulling down 11 rebounds and 5 assists per game. However, the Spurs, despite the addition of rebounder extraordinaire Dennis Rodman, were eliminated in the first round.
In 1995, Robinson won the NBA's Most Valuable Player award, after averaging 25 points and 12 rebounds.
In 1997, back and foot injuries caused Robinson to miss all but 6 games. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the Spurs' franchise. The Spurs staggered to a miserable 20-62 finish, forced to start stiffs such as Cadillac Anderson and Will Perdue at the center position. That year, the consensus #1 pick was Wake Forest center Tim Duncan, a dominant inside force who resembled a more offensive-minded Robinson. The Spurs' miserable season put them in the lottery, with a chance for the #1 pick. The Spurs got the #1 pick, and instantly rebuilt the franchise, adding Duncan and a healthy Robinson to a 20-win team.
Robinson was asked to defer on offense to Duncan, and concentrate on defense and rebounding. Robinson, one of the NBA's more selfless stars, agreed, and the "Twin Towers" lineup paid off in victories, and eventually an NBA title, in 1999.
During the 2002 season, Robinson scored his 20,000th NBA point and collect his 10,000th rebound. He was named one of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players in 1996, and has two Olympic gold medals, from 1992 and 1996, to his credit.
David Robinson retired following the 2002-03 NBA season. He was elected into the NBA hall of fame in 2009.
Robinson, along with Hakeem Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing, was one of the three dominant centers of the early 1990s. Robinson was a defensive terror, rejecting over three shots a game in the prime of his career. While he lacked a signature offensive move like Olajuwon or Ewing, his strength and quickness around the basket made him nearly impossible to guard. Robinson also had an effective jump shot from 17 feet and in. Later in his career, his offense deserted him for the most part, but he continues to be a force on the defensive end. Teamed with Tim Duncan, he gives the Spurs two mobile seven-footers in their front court. No other team in the NBA is able to match the Spurs' size upfront, and only the presence of an even stronger Los Angeles Lakers team has kept them from repeating their 1999 title.