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The history of #33 lands firmly on Boris Diaw

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The French star won on both sides of the pond.

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Memphis Grizzlies v San Antonio Spurs - Game Two Photos by Chris Covatta/NBAE via Getty Images

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.

Part one featured Michael Wiley, Bill Willoughby, Steve Johnson, Greg “Cadillac” Anderson.

Part two featured Uwe Blab, Dave Greenwood, Jud Buechler, the second coming of Cadillac Anderson, and the first Spurs title with Antonio Daniels.

Part three featured the quiet period of #33 with Ron Mercer and James White.

The final leg tracing the history of #33 leads us to one of the most beloved players in Spurs history — Boris Diaw.

But first:

Marcus Williams was signed by the San Antonio Spurs in 2007 with the 33rd pick. He was waived after one game, though he did play with the Austin Toros. He returned to the Spurs the following season for another two games.

Desmon Farmer also played three games with the San Antonio Spurs during the 2008-2009 season. He spent most of his career playing internationally with some additional stints in the D-League.

Indiana Pacers v San Antonio Spurs Photo by D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images

Larry Owens played seven games for the Silver & Black while on a pair of 10-day contracts between January 16 and February 4, 2011.

Dallas Mavericks v San Antonio Spurs Photos by D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images

And then there was Bobo.

Los Angeles Lakers v San Antonio Spurs Photos by Chris Covatta/NBAE via Getty Images

The man has swagger. He had high basketball IQ. His mother is considered the greatest center in history of French Women’s Basketball. As legend tells it, when he played basketball in France he was allowed to participate with the older players because he passed the ball before creating his own shot. The habit became a trend, and Boris Diaw’s passing carried him into the NBA.

Originally drafted 21st overall by the Atlanta Hawks, Diaw played two seasons in Georgia before being traded in a package to the Phoenix Suns for Joe Johnson. Here Diaw would play under the living Mr. Pringles can Mike D’Antoni. Alongside Steve Nash, Shawn Marion, Raja Bell, and Amar’e Stoudemire, the Phoenix Suns would have some classic rivalry matches against the Spurs.

The Spurs would eventually acquire Diaw in 2012 and he would become an integral part of the Spurs’ return to the Finals and their eventual fifth championship.

These days Bobo can be found sailing the high seas only dropping anchor to visit old friends. A certified scuba instructor, professional photographer, and world-renowned coffee aficionado, there is little that Diaw does not do well.

And now the fate of #33 is in the hands of the 41st draft pick of the 2020 NBA draft Tre Jones.

Was Tre #3 at Duke because of his name? Three, tres, shoot the tre. Unfortunately #3 belonged to Keldon Johnson, leading one to believe #33 was the next best option.


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