Robinson celebrating his championship with the Spurs.
|Full name:||David Maurice Robinson|
|Born:||August 6, 1965|
Key West, Florida
|Listed height:||7 ft 1 in (2.16 m)|
|Listed weight:||235 lbs (107 kg)|
|High school:||Osbourn Park|
(Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
|NBA Draft:||1987 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st|
|Selected by the San Antonio Spurs|
|Playing career:||1990–2003 (14 years)|
|1989–2003||San Antonio Spurs|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Representing the United States|
|Pan American Games|
|FIBA Americas Championship|
David Maurice Robinson (born August 6, 1965) is an American former Center for the San Antonio Spurs his whole career. He was drafted 1st overall in the 1989 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs out of Navy. He is on of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. Nicknamed "the Admiral" for his service with the U.S. Navy, Robinson was a 10-time NBA All-Star, 1989 Rookie of the Year, 1995 NBA MVP, a two-time NBA champion (1999 and 2003), a two-time Olympic Gold Medal winner (1992, 1996), a two-time Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee (2009 for his individual career, 2010 as a member of the 1992 United States men's Olympic basketball team), and a two-time U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame inductee (2008 individually, 2009 as a member of the 1992 Olympic team). He is widely considered one of the greatest Centers in both college basketball and NBA history.
David Robinson was born in Key West, Florida, the second child of Ambrose and Freda Robinson. Since Robinson's father was in the U.S. Navy, the family moved frequently. After Robinson's father retired, the family settled in Virginia where Robinson excelled in most sports at school, especially basketball. Robinson graduated in 1983. At the time, he had not generated much interest amongst college coaches, and chose to attend the U.S. Naval Academy, where he would major in mathematics and play on the basketball team.
College basketball and military career
Robinson is widely considered to be the best basketball player in Naval Academy history. He chose the jersey number 50 after his idol Ralph Sampson. He began college with no expectations of playing in the NBA, but in Robinson's final two years he was a consensus All-American and won college basketball's two most prestigious player awards, the Naismith and Wooden Awards, as a Naval Academy first classman (senior).
Upon graduation, he became eligible for the 1987 NBA Draft and was selected by the San Antonio Spurs with the first overall pick; however, the Spurs had to wait two years because he had to fulfill his active-duty obligation with the Navy.
Since he had not signed a contract, NBA regulations stated that Robinson could have reentered the draft after his naval service. Although there was speculation that he might choose not to sign with the Spurs, Robinson agreed to move to San Antonio for the 1989–90 season, but the Spurs agreed to pay him as much as the average of the salaries of the two highest-paid players in the league each year, or release him to free agency.
The Spurs had spent the second half of the 1980s as an also-ran, bottoming out in 1988–89 with a 21–61 record, the worst in franchise history at the time. While it was widely thought that the Spurs would become respectable again once Robinson arrived, no one expected what happened in his rookie season. Robinson led the Spurs to the greatest single season turnaround in NBA history at the time. The Spurs later broke this record themselves after drafting Tim Duncan in 1997.
The Spurs leaped to a record of 56–26 for a remarkable 35 game improvement and went all the way to the Western Conference Semi-finals, where they would lose in 7 to the eventual champion Portland Trail Blazers. Robinson would unanimously win Rookie of the Year.
The Spurs made the playoffs seven more seasons in a row. Robinson also made the 1992 US Olympic Dream Team that won the gold medal in Barcelona. During the 1993–94 season, he became locked in a duel for the NBA scoring title with Shaquille O'Neal, scoring 71 points (breaking George Gervin's single-game franchise record of 63 by George Gervin) against the Los Angeles Clippers to win it. In that season, Robinson averaged a career-high 29.8 points per game, 10.7 rebounds per game, career-high 4.8 assists per game, and 3.3 blocks per game.
Robinson went on to win the MVP trophy in 1995, and in 1996 he was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, although he was never able to win an NBA championship during this time. Early in the 1997 season, Robinson's dreams of becoming a champion seemed to vanish when he hurt his back in the preseason. He finally returned in December, but six games later broke his foot in a home game against the Miami Heat, and ended up missing the rest of the regular season. This, along with several other injuries caused the Spurs to drop to the bottom of the league at a 20-62 record. Luckily, despite having only the third-worst record in the league, the Spurs won the NBA Draft Lottery—and with it, the first pick in the next year's NBA draft. They used that pick to select Tim Duncan.
During the 1999 lockout season, The Spurs blitzed through the first three rounds of the NBA playoffs, beating the Minnesota Timberwolves, Los Angeles Lakers, and Portland Trail Blazers by a combined record of 11–1 to reach the NBA Finals for the first time ever. In the Finals, the combination of Robinson in the post and second-year power forward Tim Duncan proved overpowering, and the Spurs beat the New York Knicks in five games to become the first former American Basketball Association team to win an NBA title. Duncan was named Finals MVP.
The later years of Robinson's career were plagued by back injuries. During the 1999–00 season, Robinson averaged 17.8 points per game, 10.0 rebounds per game and 2.3 blocks per game in 80 games. The Spurs made it to the playoffs as the fourth seed, but were defeated by the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the playoffs despite Robinson's 23.5 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 3 blocks per game.
Robinson announced he would retire from basketball following the 2002–03 season. On June 15, 2003, in the finale of Robinson's career, the Spurs won another NBA title with an 88–77 victory over the New Jersey Nets in Game 6 of the 2003 NBA Finals. Turning back the clock, Robinson scored 13 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in his final game for the Spurs.