The San Antonio Spurs are arguably the best team of the 21st century so far. Led by franchise icons Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and to an extent, David Robinson at the tail end of his career, the Spurs became a symbol of excellence and consistency in the NBA.
The aforementioned legends are arguably the most synonymous names in Spurs history. However, there is actually an extensive list of Hall of Famers that actually donned the black, silver, and white. Here are the five best players who played for San Antonio that you probably forgot about.
Maurice Cheeks was mostly known for his days with the Philadelphia 76ers, where he played for the first 11 years of his career and won an NBA championship in 1983. During the 1989 off-season, the Sixers dealt him to San Antonio. At 33 years old, the aging point guard was no longer in his prime.
He spent just more than half a season with the Spurs, playing just 50 games. Nonetheless, he still served as their starting point guard while playing over 35 minutes a night. The four-time All-Star averaged 10.9 points and 6.0 assists in his short stint in San Antonio.
The two-time scoring champion actually just played six games with the Spurs, totaling just 31 minutes throughout their entire playoff run. San Antonio signed McGrady at the end of the 2012-13 season for an added reinforcement in the 2013 postseason. Despite the limited playing time, the two-time scoring champion came so close to winning an NBA championship to end his career.
McGrady went on record saying that he was actually already sniffing the champagne bottles with the Spurs looking well on their way to winning their fourth NBA championship in Game 6. Unfortunately, Ray Allen ruined that for him. Up 3-2 entering Game 6, San Antonio was mere seconds away from winning the 2013 NBA title before Allen’s historic three-pointer that sent the game into overtime, where the Heat eventually won. They also defeated the Spurs in tightly-contested Game 7 to go back-to-back, denying McGrady’s quest for a ring in the process.
Dennis Rodman was still in peak form when he played two seasons for the Spurs from 1993 to 1995. However, it was with San Antonio that Rodman began his transformation into one of the most colorful, yet controversial personalities in the league. Rodman played his first game with the Spurs sporting blonde hair, a sight that shocked many people all over the league.
Nonetheless, Rodman still had a positive impact for San Antonio on the floor. He led the league in rebounding for each of his two seasons with the Spurs. In 128 total games, Rodman averaged 5.6 points and 17.1 rebounds while playing over 35 minutes a night. Overall, the enigmatic forward had a pretty rocky relationship with franchise superstar David Robinson and the front office throughout his tenure in San Antonio.
Dominique Wilkins is another legend who played with the Spurs in the latter end of his career. After playing one season overseas in the 1995-96 season, he suited up for San Antonio for the 1996-97 season. In his age-37 season, the former scoring champ was clearly no longer in his prime. Still, he managed to lead the team in scoring by averaging 18.2 points despite coming off the bench for majority of the season.
The Spurs had hoped to bring him as an added scoring spark off the bench. Unfortunately, San Antonio’s season ended early after franchise superstar David Robinson broke his foot in December, forcing him to miss the rest of the season. This ended up becoming a blessing in disguise for the Spurs as this eventually led to Tim Duncan falling onto their lap in the 1997 NBA draft.
Moses Malone was a dominant force in his prime. A 25-point scorer and a 14-rebound monster, he won MVP three times and did so in back-to-back seasons in 1981-82 and 1982-83 with both the Houston Rockets and the Philadelphia 76ers, respectively. He led the Sixers to the 1983 title in convincing fashion by sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers in the Finals.
When he arrived in San Antonio, however, Malone was at the end of his career. Playing in his age-39 campaign, Malone played just 17 games as a Spur.