Ranking the 50 greatest NBA players of all time

The Last Dance, Michael Jordan, LeBron James (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
The Last Dance, Michael Jordan, LeBron James (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
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29. David Robinson

  • Resume: 14 seasons, 2 NBA championships, 1 regular season MVP Award, 10-time All-NBA selection, 10-time NBA All-Star, 1 Defensive Player of the Year Award, Rookie of the Year Award, 8-time NBA All-Defensive Team, 1-time NBA leader in scoring, 1-time NBA leader in rebounds, 1-time NBA leader in blocks, member of the Dream Team, Hall-of-Famer
  • Stats: 21.1 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 3.0 BPG, 2.5 APG, 1.4 SPG, .518/—/.736 shooting splits, 26.2 career PER, 178.7 win shares

The accolades and accomplishments alone are enough to make your head spin. The only player from the Navy to ever play in the NBA, “The Admiral” was a physical specimen with arms like tree trunks and leaping ability that helped him average an insane three blocks per game over his 14-year career. His quadruple-double perfectly summed it up: David Robinson was a FORCE on both ends of the floor.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t until Tim Duncan came along that The Admiral was able to finally break through and win a title. The year he won his regular season MVP Award — averaging 27.6 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.2 blocks and 2.9 assists per game — he was thoroughly dominated by Hakeem in the Western Conference Finals.

Still, once Duncan was around, the San Antonio Spurs had one of the most formidable front lines in NBA history and won two titles in five years before Robinson went out on top and called it a career in 2003. Add that to the fact that he played on the Dream Team, had a 71-point game in his career and was one of the nicest teammates you could find and it’s no wonder he’s so beloved among Spurs fans.

However, Robinson’s kindness and intelligence also hurt him at times. He never was able to put it all together and become an alpha dog in the league because he just didn’t have that cocky streak in him to be ruthless when his team needed him to be. It’s probably the reason San Antonio never won a title before Duncan. Still, The Admiral was second to only Hakeem at his position in the ’90s and did his best with the teammates he had until Timmy came along.