Thursday, September 27, 2007

NBA Defensive Player of the Year (1992) NBA Rookie of the Year (1990) (1987) USBWA College Player of the Year Naismith College Player of the Year (1987)David Robinson (basketball) John R. Wooden Award (1987) NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team David Maurice Robinson (born August 6, 1965(1965-08-06)) is a retired American NBA basketball player, who is often considered one of the greatest centers to ever play the game. A born-again Christian, Robinson is also an amateur musician who enjoys playing various instruments at home. His nicknames include "The Admiral", based on his service as an officer in the United States Navy. Robinson is now on staff at the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio.

Early life
He was the best basketball player at the Naval Academy, choosing jersey number 50 after his idol Ralph Sampson. By the time he took the court in his first basketball game for Navy, he had grown to 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m), and over the course of his college basketball career, he grew to 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m). In his final two years, he was a consensus All-American, and won college basketball's two most prestigious player awards, the Naismith and Wooden Awards, as a Naval Academy first classman (senior). Upon graduation, he became eligible for the 1987 NBA Draft and was selected by the San Antonio Spurs with the first overall pick; however, the Spurs had to wait two years before he could join them because he needed to fulfill two years of Navy duty.
In a mildly controversial, yet understandable move, the Navy excused him from three years of the normal five years of his military commitment following graduation from the Naval Academy because his height prohibited his deployment in many roles (e.g. aviation, the submarine corps, and many ships). Nonetheless, Robinson continued to serve in a reserve role with the Navy and was regularly featured in recruiting materials for the service. Despite the nickname "Admiral", Robinson's actual rank upon fulfilling his service commitment was Lieutenant, Junior Grade.
At the Naval Academy, Robinson was an outstanding all-around athlete and chess player; during the physical tests that the Academy gives all incoming plebes he scored higher in gymnastics than anyone in his class. This was even more impressive due to his height: 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) at the time. To put this in perspective, virtually all male gymnasts are well under 6 ft (1.83 m) tall, and the service academies prohibit enrollment to anyone taller than 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m). However, the academies do not drop students who grow past this height limit after enrolling, which later benefited Robinson.

College basketball career
Finally, Robinson joined the Spurs for the 1989-90 season, and he helped the team produce the second greatest single season turnaround in NBA history Still, from 1991 to 1998, the Chicago Bulls and the Houston Rockets thwarted Robinson's quest to claim the NBA championship that he desired so much to win. The losses against the Rockets were particularly painful for Robinson because the Rockets' center at this time was his rival, Hakeem Olajuwon, who to his own admission, outplayed him in the series. Robinson's NBA title dreams seemed to vanish when he was seriously injured in 1997, and the Spurs subsequently fell to a dismal 20–62 record. However, his injury proved to be a blessing in disguise: due to their dismal season record in 1997, the Spurs enjoyed the first pick in the next year's college draft, and with it they selected Tim Duncan, who would become in subsequent years the final key to their quest for an NBA title.

NBA career
Before the start of the 1998-99 season, the NBA owners and the NBA commissioner David Stern locked out the NBA Players' Association to force negotiation on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. This lockout lasted for 202 days, well into the regular NBA season, until finally an agreement was reached. Thus, the NBA season began late on February 5, 1999, making it literally the 1999 NBA season. After playing a truncated 50-game season, the Spurs finished with an NBA-best record of 37–13, giving them the home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Spurs blitzed through the first three rounds of the NBA playoffs, beating the Minnesota Timberwolves, Los Angeles Lakers, and Portland Trail Blazers by a combined record of 11–1. In the NBA finals, the combination of Robinson in the post and second-year, 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) forward Tim Duncan proved overpowering, and the Spurs beat the New York Knicks in five games to become the NBA champions. Duncan was named the Finals MVP.

Champion again
His list of awards and accomplishments is long and include a number of records as well as sharing a number of distinctions with very few other luminaries of the game; for his on the court play, he was named among the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History.

NBA Champion (1999, 2003)
NBA MVP (1995)
NBA Defensive Player of the Year (1992)
NBA Rookie of the Year (1990)
All-NBA First Team (1991, '92, '95, '96)
All-NBA Second Team (1994, '98)
All-NBA Third Team (1990, '93, 2000, '01)
All-Defensive First Team (1991, '92, '95, '96)
All-Defensive Second Team (1990, '93, '94, '98)
10-time NBA All-Star
Only player in NBA history to win the Rebounding, Blocked Shots, and Scoring Titles and Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and MVP
One of only four players to have recorded a quadruple-double
NBA Sportsmanship Award (2001)
Third player in NBA history to rank among the league's top 10 in five categories (7th in scoring (23.2 ppg), 4th in rebounding (12.2 rpg), 1st in blocks (4.49 per game), 5th in steals (2.32 per game) and 7th in field-goal percentage (.551))
First player in NBA history to rank among the top five in rebounding, blocks and steals (per game) in a single season
Fourth player ever to score 70+ in an NBA game
3-time Olympian (1988, '92, '96)
One of 50 Greatest Players in NBA History (1996)
Led NBA in Scoring (1993–94 season) - 29.8 ppg
Led NBA in Rebounding (1990–91 season) - 13.0 rpg
Led NBA in Blocked Shots (1991–92 season) - 4.49 bpg
Holds record for most IBM Awards (1990, '91, '94, '95, '96)
His 10,497 rebounds and 2,954 blocked shots are the most by any player wearing a San Antonio Spurs jersey, and his 20,790 points are second most behind only George Gervin's 23,602. (Had only Gervin's NBA numbers been taken into account, Robinson would be #1 in this category; Gervin scored 4,219 of his points while the franchise was in the American Basketball Association.)
Gold Medal in Basketball World Championship (1986)
Member of Dream Team #1 during Olympic Games at Barcelona. Career awards/accomplishments
Robinson will not only be remembered for his outstanding accomplishments throughout his NBA career, but also for his contributions in his community.
In 1991, Robinson visited with fifth graders at Gates Elementary School in San Antonio and challenged them to finish school and go to college. He offered a $2,000 scholarship to everyone who did. In 1998, proving even better than his word, Robinson awarded $8,000 to each of those students who had completed his challenge. In perhaps his greatest civic and charitable achievement, David and his wife, Valerie, founded the Carver Academy in San Antonio, which opened its doors in September 2001. To date, the Robinsons have donated more than $9 million to the school, believed to be the largest contribution ever made by a professional athlete.
In recognition of his outstanding contributions to charity, in March 2003, the NBA renamed its award for outstanding charitable efforts in honor of Robinson. Winners of the NBA's Community Assist Award receive the David Robinson Plaque, with the inscription "Following the standard set by NBA Legend David Robinson who improved the community piece by piece." The award is given out monthly by the league to recognize players for their charitable efforts.

Charitable efforts
Robinson criticized then Dallas Mavericks players Steve Nash and Nick Van Exel for their criticism of the United States just after the March 2003 Iraq War had begun. The March 25, 2003 Oakland Tribune tells it this way.
It all started with Nash wearing a T-shirt to All-Star activities in Atlanta that said, "No War. Shoot for Peace." Nash continued his protest of the war, as reporters asked him about his shirt and his beliefs, up until and after the first U.S. bombs hit Iraq last week. Those who haven't been receptive to Nash are those that don't think a basketball player should be using his forum to speak out on politics, especially a Canadian basketball player.
"From the start, I spoke out just because I don't want to see the loss of life," Nash told ESPN. "People are mistaking anti-war as being unpatriotic. This has nothing to do with the fact that I'm from Canada. This is a much bigger issue. But now that we're in battle, I hope for as many lives to be spared as possible (and) as little violence as possible before a resolution."
Dallas played San Antonio last week and Spurs center David Robinson, a former Navy officer, didn't like what Nash had to say. He also took exception to Nash's teammate, Nick Van Exel, saying the war initiative gave Americans a bad name.
"I get a little bit upset," Robinson said. "The time for debate is really beforehand. Obviously history will speak on whether this was the right thing or the wrong thing, but right now (the soldiers) are out there. Support'em. There's plenty of time for commentary later. If it's an embarrassment to them, maybe they should be in a different country, because this is America and we're supposed to proud of the guys we elected and put in office."


List of National Basketball Association players with 60 or more points in a game
List of Individual NBA Scoring Champions

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