Number 12


Yesterday Project Spurs was the first to report on the possibility of Bruce Bowen announcing his retirement from the NBA.  As expected, Bruce Bowen will announce his retirement from the NBA at a press conference scheduled for 2 p.m. today in San Antonio.

The guys at 48 Minutes of Hell recently posted their thoughts on why Bowen’s jersey should hang among past great Spurs players in the AT&T Center and Project Spurs would like to echo those sentiments.

When it came down to doing the “dirty work,” Bowen gladly took it on, whether it was guarding the opposing team’s best perimeter scorer, point guards, or having a knack to disrupt the opposing teams defense.  In an era of flash and style in the NBA, Bowen wasn’t afraid to do the little things that don’t show up on the stat sheet and it was this workman-like attitude which helped the Spurs win three of their four NBA titles.

Though known for being an aggressive defender, it came with a price.  Bowen developed a reputation of being “dirty” and this may have been the reason he never won the Defensive Player of the Year award.  We saw him scuffle with the likes of Ray Allen, Steve Nash, Vince Carter, Chris Paul and even with Michael Finley when he was with Dallas.  But was this reputation deserved?  No.  Hard-nosed, tenacious defense is not “dirty” and when arguably the game’s best player, Kobe Bryant, publically admits he respects Bowen’s defense, that speaks volumes.

Always improving his game, he developed a 3-point shot later on in his career and had the ability to hit the key “3” when the game was on the line.  Ask the Lakers in the 2003 playoffs.

Bowen represented hard-work, toughness, a willingness to do the little-things for the betterment of the team that made the Spurs what they are today.  For these reasons and much more, number 12 should hang in the AT&T Center.

Please leave us your thoughts on whether the Spurs should retire number 12 and your thoughts and memories on Bowen’s career with the Spurs.  Also please vote on whether his jersey should be retired.