The 21 Greatest NBA stars that played for a single team

Dirk Nowitzki NBA, Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Dirk Nowitzki NBA, Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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NBA stars that played for one team #8: David Robinson

Before there was Tim Duncan, there was David Robinson. Robinson’s arrival in San Antonio helped transform the San Antonio Spurs into the team that they are today. He was drafted first overall in 1987 but didn’t actually make his Spurs debut until 1989 due to his Navy obligations. When he did, however, he was an instant sensation. He took a 21-win team and turned them into a 56-win team on the strength of one of the greatest rookie seasons ever.

Robinson averaged a staggering 24.3 points, 12 rebounds, 3.9 blocks, and 1.7 steals per game, earning Rookie of the Year honors. Those video game numbers were merely par for the course; in fact, over his first eight seasons, he averaged 25.5 points, 11.7 rebounds, 3.6 blocks, and 1.7 steals.

Robinson made seven straight all-star teams, won Defensive Player of the Year and MVP during that span, helping the Spurs win 71.5% of their games and make the playoffs seven straight times. It wasn’t until Duncan’s arrival, however, that Spurs got over the championship hump.

With Duncan as the team’s new young superstar, Robinson seamlessly shifted into a secondary role but was still incredibly impactful. The twin towers would play five seasons together and form one of the greatest defensive pairings in NBA history. Robinson made two more all-star teams during that span, despite being in his mid-30s. More importantly, he helped the Spurs win their first championship in 1999, then ended the Lakers’ three-peat, and win another in 2003 before retiring.

He played a total of 14 seasons for the Spurs, retiring as the team’s leading scorer, rebounder, and shot blocker. Without Robinson, the Spurs wouldn’t be the team that they are today and likely wouldn’t even be in San Antonio. That, combined with his dominance, makes him one of the best players to ever spend their entire career with one team.