When I joined Pounding The Rock, I pitched a project that would cover every player who ever wore a Spurs jersey. Not equally, by any means, but each jersey would be identified numerically by the players who wore it.
There is a significance to the numbers of jerseys as it pertains to the five NBA Championships that have been won by the San Antonio Spurs.
There is only one jersey number associated with all five San Antonio Spurs NBA Championships- #21. Tim Duncan. He is coincidentally also the only player to be involved in all five titles.
There are five jersey numbers associated with four Spurs titles. #9 Tony Parker and #20 Manu Ginobili, as well as #2, #4, #5 and #11.
The next set of jersey numbers are those associated with three of the Spurs NBA titles. #12 Bruce Bowen as well as #3, #8, #17, and #33.
In honor of Tre Jones nabbing #33, let’s take a look back at how we got here.
Prior to Tre, fourteen Spurs have worn thirty-three.
Michael Wiley was drafted 39th overall in the second round of the 1980 draft and appropriately wore #33 for exactly thirty-three games. The next season, he played with the San Diego Clippers. He left the NBA for The Netherlands the following season and retired in 1991.
Bill Willoughby was an NBA journeyman who spent his eight season on six different teams. His time with the San Antonio Spurs was uneventful. His career overall did not rise to the level of his athleticism. Willoughby has the distinction of being one of the only guys to block Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s skyhook. (The video is flawed, only the first few seconds work.)
Steve Johnson spent the 1985-1986 season with the Silver & Black starting in fifty-five games and averaging 13.8 points per game while shooting a league best .632 field goal percentage. His college days #33 was retired by the Oregon State Beavers.
“Cadillac” Anderson was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs in the 1987 draft as the 23rd pick of the first round. He originally spent two seasons with the Spurs from 1987-1989. He made the NBA All-Rookie First Team as well as representing the Spurs in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest.
Anderson averaged 12.7 points per game in his two seasons with San Antonio. Those proved to be his best. He returned to the Spurs form 1995-1997, his best years behind him.
NEXT UP: Antonio Daniels helps the Spurs win their first NBA Championship.
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