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 numbers associated with four Spurs titles. #9 (Tony Parker) and #20 Manu Ginobili, as well as #2 (Jaren Jackson-1999, Nazr Mohammed- 2005, Melvin Ely- 2007, and Kawhi Leonard- 2014), #4 (Steve Kerr- 1999, Sean Marks- 2005, Michael Finley- 2007, and Danny Green- 2014), and #11 (Brandon Williams- 1999, Mike Wilks- 2005, Jacque Vaughn- 2007, Jeff Ayers- 2014).
The next set of jersey numbers are those associated with three of the Spurs NBA titles.
Those numbers are 3, 5, 8, 12, 17, and 33.
A lot of players wore #3, but after Stephen Jackson helped the Spurs win the 2003 NBA Championship, only Matt Carroll wore it for the final three games of the 2003-04 season while the regular players rested up for the postseason. The next man to don #3 was Glenn Robinson.
Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson
After a storied career at Purdue, Glenn Robinson was drafted first overall in 1994 by the Milwaukee Bucks where he played a majority of his career averaging over 21 points per game in his eight seasons. He made the NBA All-Rookie First Team. He was selected for the 1996 Olympic Dream Team but was replaced by Gary Payton due to injury. In addition, he made back-to-back All-Star Games in 2000 and 2001.
Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson continued to shine in Atlanta where he averaged 20.8 points per game in his lone season there. He then moved on to the Philadelphia 76ers in a four-team trade.
At the age of 32 the gifted scorer should’ve been carving out a legacy for one team and leading the way for jersey retirement talks in the future, but injuries to his ankles and elbows left him out of the NBA for nearly a year, before being traded and waived. Then the Spurs came calling, just weeks before the start of the 2005 Playoffs.
It’s quite possible that when Pop was looking for some extra effort going into that 2005 Championship run he saw in Robinson what he values - a high-energy player, over himself and ready to be a part of the team. It didn’t hurt that Glenn was a big man with a floor presence and high-volume scoring abilities.
Although Robinson only played in nine regular season games, he averaged 10 points per game. He then played thirteen postseason outings including the first three Finals games against the Detroit Pistons. In the first game alone, he tallied three blocks.
Luckily and deservingly so, Glenn was able to end his career an NBA Champion like the previous Spurs’ Robinson.
NEXT TIME: Before #3 went to the Finals again, it was worn by Pop’s “fave”.
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