Three former Spurs highlight forgotten Gold Medal team


1986 Team USAYesterday, while thumbing around Twitter during some down time at work, my friend WOAI reporter Mike Board, posted this amazing picture of former Spurs forward Sean Elliott.  There is so much to like about this picture.  There's a cactus which looks real, then there's the gigantic  fake "Old Tucson" camera.  But nothing compares to his pants, which look like something the Rockers wore when Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty still had full on mullets.  In the midst of that chuckle fest I noticed Elliott's orange "USA Basketball" shirt, which got me thinking: Was Sean Elliott ever a member of Team USA?

Sean Elliott was not a member of Team USA for the 1988 Bronze medal team in Seoul.  However, thanks to USA Basketball's site, I discovered Elliott was a member of the 1986 FIBA World Championship team in Malaga, Spain.  And he wasn't the only one. In addition to Elliott, David Robinson made his Team USA debut as did Elliott's University of Arizona teammate Steve Kerr.  As it turns out, this gold medal team was a historic team.

"Relying on relative unknowns from the college ranks, head coach Lute Olson and his 12-man team were widely considered a dark horse to win the title. But the U.S. behind the play of future stars like David Robinson, Charles Smith, Kenny Smith and Tyrone Bogues captured the USA's first World Championship title since the 1954 American squad did so."

First time in 32 years the Team USA won a FIBA world championship. Pretty remarkable.  How did the future Spurs do?  David Robinson was the team's third leading scorer (13.8 ppg) and leading rebounder (6.8 rpg). Steve Kerr was tied for the team's fourth leading scorer and shot a blistering 50 percent from three.  A 19 year old Elliott averaged 5.2 ppg and was the youngest player on Team USA.

This probably isn't information you needed to know, but now you've got some extra factoids to impress the ladies at parties.  "Did you know three members of the 1999 Spurs championship team also were members of the 1986 of the FIBA World Championship team?" is absolutely how you pick up chicks.