The Spurs had great players put on the uniform in their franchise history but as I was looking back in Spurs history, I came across names of players who once wore the Silver and Black that might surprise you. From Willie Burton to Pete Meyers (the player who “replaced” Michael Jordan after his first retirement), I figured I give you some of the more notable former players.
So sit back and prepare to say “He played for us?”
Maurice Cheeks, 1989-1990. The NBA’s third all-time steals leader and eighth ranked leader in assists played for the Spurs for 50 games. He never was happy to be in San Antonio and was traded to the New York Knicks for Rod Strickland. While in San Antonio he averaged 10.9 points, 6 assists, and 1.6 steals.
Kevin Duckworth, 1986-1987. Drafted by the Spurs in the second round of the 1986 draft. In the same season he was traded to the Blazers for Walter Berry. He averaged 3.2 points and 2.2 rebounds.
Mike Dunleavy, Sr., 1982-1983. The current head coach of the Clippers played 28 games for the Spurs. While in San Antonio he averaged 7.8 points and 5.5 assists.
Eric “Sleepy” Floyd, 1993-1994. This former 1987 NBA All-Star was signed as a free agent in 1993. He still holds the records for the most points scored in a quarter and in a half, 29 and 39 respectively in the playoffs. He played 53 games for the Spurs and averaged 3.8 points.
Vinny “The Microwave” Johnson, 1991-1992. That’s right, the former Pistons “Bad Boy”played for the Spurs. He actually finished his NBA career with the Spurs. He played 60 games for the Spurs and averaged 8.0 points and 2.4 assists.
George Karl, 1973-1978. The current Denver Nuggets head coach played for the Spurs in the ABA and NBA. The Spurs were the only team he played professional basketball with and retired in 1978. He averaged 7.0 points and 3.2 assists in the ABA and 2.6 points and 1.5 assists in the NBA.
Moses Malone, 1994-1995. We complain about the Spurs signing old players well take this signing in comparison. This 2001 Hall of Fame player was signed to back-up David Robinson but played just 17 games. It was his last season in the NBA and in his last game in the NBA, he hit an 80 foot 3-point shot against the then Charlotte Hornets. It was his 8th in his entire career. He averaged 2.9 points and 2.7 rebounds.
Ron Mercer, 2003-2004. Mercer was traded to the Spurs in 2003. He never panned out for the Spurs and just played 39 games for the Spurs before being released. He averaged 5 points
John Paxson, 1983-1985. The sharp-shooter for the Chicago Bulls during their championship run, he was drafted by the Spurs in the 1983 NBA Draft. He averaged 4.9 points and 2.9 assists before he was signed as a free agent by the Bulls.
Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson, 2004-2005. Talk about being at the right time and right place. The former number 1 pick overall by the Bucks in the 1994 NBA Draft, was signed by the Spurs late in the 2005 season. He ended up winning a title with the Spurs and averaged 8 points.
Mychal Thompson, 1986-1987. He was drafted by the Blazers in the 1978 NBA Draft, first overall and was part of the “Showtime” Lakers helping them win titles in the 80′s. Thompson played for the Spurs for half a season before being traded to the Lakers for Frank Brickowski, Peter Gudmundsson and a 1990 first round draft pick. He averaged 12.3 points and 5.6 rebounds for the Spurs.
Trent Tucker, 1991-1992. The former 3-point specialist and the man behind the “Trent Tucker” rule played one season for the Spurs before signing with the Bulls. He averaged 6.5 points while with the Spurs.
Hedo Turkoglu, 2003-2004. Some people forget he wore the Silver & Black. He was traded to the Spurs in the 2003 off-season (along with Ron Mercer) and was expected to help the Spurs defend their title and to help against the Lakers. He never worked out and didn’t perform well during the Spurs playoff matchup against the Lakers. He averaged 9.2 points for the Spurs.
Charlie Ward, 2004. The former Heisman Trophy winner and opponent in the 1999 NBA Finals against the Knicks, wore Silver & Black. After being released by the Suns in 2004, Ward signed with the Spurs for the remainder of the 2004 season. He averaged 3.3 points and 1.3 assists.
Dominique Wilkins, 1996-1997. What a way to end this post. The former slam-dunk champion, the “Human Highlight Film” returned from playing overseas with Panathinaikos of the Greek League and signed with the Spurs in 1996. He led the Spurs with 18.2 points per game before returning overseas to play in the Italian League.
Surprising list isn’t it? There are other former players who played with the Spurs that might surprise you. To see them click here. Please submit your memories of any of the players mentioned.