This year the Spurs are celebrating their 50th season in San Antonio. There have been many highs and a few lows. One trademark of the San Antonio Spurs has been their culture and their consistency. The keys to those qualities lie in their players. Always noted for development as well as being ahead of the curve on scouting international players, the Spurs way has made the franchise one of the most successful of all time. As we look back on the Silver & Black, we recognize the top 50 players in Spurs history. Each day, we will move up the countdown. But before we begin, a few honorable mentions for former players who did not crack the top 50.
The Phoenix Suns head coach once donned the Silver & Black. For three season from 1995-1998, the small forward played in 154 games averaging 7.1 points per game coming off the bench.
Already in the twilight of his career, Kersey played two seasons with the Spurs before retiring. That said, he was still averaging decent minutes (18.2) over 72 games at age 37. He also got to hoist the Spurs first Larry O’Brien, endearing himself as part of a legacy to the city of San Antonio.
With fourteen seasons under his belt, it might prove difficult to remember Steve Smith wearing a Spurs jersey, but from 2001-2003 Smitty played in San Antonio. He shot an impressive 47.2% from beyond the arc in his first season. Unfortunately, his biggest dip in productivity took place in his second season with the Spurs. That said, he also picked up an NBA Championship when the Spurs beat the New Jersey Nets in the 2003 Finals
Drafted by the Spurs in 2004, Udrih was given the unfortunate role of playing point guard behind a French baller named Tony Parker. Been saw little playing time in his first three NBA seasons. He was traded to and then subsequently waived by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Udrih was picked up by the Sacramento Kings to fill in for an injured Mike Bibby. He thrived and extended his career into thirteen NBA seasons. He also picked up two rings in San Antonio while riding the pine for the Silver & Black.
After picking up back-to-back NCAA championships with the UCLA Bruins, Nater made his foray into the ABA Draft first with The Floridians who disbanded. He suited up for the Virginia Squires for seventeen games before being traded to San Antonio. Worked out well as Swen picked up the Rookie of the Year honors in 1974 averaging 14.1 shooting over 55%, leading ABA in field goal percentage in 1974. In 1975, Nater led the league in rebounding. His time in the Alamo City ended after two seasons though he played in the ABA and NBA for over a decade.
Next up: We move into the top 50.
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