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. Today we look at #8.
Journeyman Roger Mason started out his career drafted 31st overall by the Chicago Bulls. In December of his second season, he was traded to the Toronto Raptors. After a year, he was waived and played two season overseas in Greece and Israel.
He returned to the NBA in 2006 with the Washington Wizards where he played two more seasons.
During the summer of 2008, Mason signed a two-year contract with the San Antonio Spurs for $7.3M. He started in 71 games while Manu Ginobili spent much of the season out of uniform. He averaged career bests in points, assists, rebounds, and steals per game. Arguably his top season as he never started as many games or played as many minutes in any other.
He stayed with the Spurs through the 2009-2010 season but only started 5 games after that first year. At the end of his second year, Mason entered free agency.
Next, Mason signed with the New York Knicks for one season followed by a return to Washington, where he was waived late in the season.
After being waived, Roger joined the New Orleans Hornets where he started in 13 games.
Mason never quite found his footing in the NBA, but he continued to hang around for just over a decade. That season in San Antonio reveals a great player and teammate who was solid in clutch situations.
He did serve as deputy executive director of the NBA Players Association at one point. He is also a former president and commissioner of Big3.
I was not privy to the 82 games that season. Anyone else able to share why Mason’s tenure in San Antonio was reduced and why he never caught on anywhere else?
Next up: Tim Kempton’s short run with the Spurs.
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