Greatest NBA Player #13: David Robinson-178.67
Despite coming in outside the top 10 in total win shares, David Robinson was one of the most productive players in NBA history. In fact, based on win shares per 48 minutes, which aren’t cumulative and don’t reward longevity, Robinson ranks second all-time behind Michael Jordan. It’s easy to see why. Even though he played in the late 1980s and 1990s, when the game was slowing down, Robinson put up monster numbers.
During the 1991–942 season, he averaged an outrageous 23.2 points, 12.2 rebounds, 4.5 blocks, and 2.3 steals per game, but that wasn’t even the year that he won the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award. In 1994–95, Robinson carried the San Antonio Spurs to a 62–20 record by averaging 27.6 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.3 blocks, and 1.7 steals per game.
While he was stopped by Olajuwon and the Rockets in the Western Conference Semifinals, Robinson would later go on to win not one but two championships as a member of the Twin Towers with Tim Duncan.
Those championships helped cap a terrific but underappreciated career. Still, had he not made his NBA debut at the age of 24 instead of 21 or 22 and not played just six games during one of his prime seasons, it is entirely possible that he would rank much higher in win shares than 13th all-time.