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Spurs 50 for 50, Number 48- Gary Neal

An undrafted sharp-shooter never quite found his rhythm

2013 NBA Finals - San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

This year the Spurs are celebrating their 50th season in San Antonio. There have been many highs and a few lows. One trademark of the San Antonio Spurs has been their culture and their consistency. The keys to those qualities lie in their players. Always noted for development as well as being ahead of the curve on scouting international players, the Spurs way has made the franchise one of the most successful of all time. As we look back on the Silver & Black, we recognize the top 50 players in Spurs history. Each day, we will move up the countdown.

48- Gary Neal

As has been well documented, the San Antonio Spurs have done well drafting and signing through the international leagues. Gary Neal originally went undrafted, possibly due to some personal issues, in 2007. This led him to play in Turkey, Spain and Italy for three years before meeting with the San Antonio Spurs before 2010 Las Vegas Summer League. The result was Neal being signed to a three-year deal by the Spurs.

Neal played all three seasons with the Spurs making this his most consistent experience. During his time in San Antonio he averaged 9.7 points per game in 21.4 minutes per game. He came off the bench predominantly as a shooting guard.

In 2012, Neal was assigned to the D-League Austin Toros as he recovered from an appendectomy.

Neal’s best moment with the Spurs occurred when he went off on the Miami Heat, scoring 24 points (including 6 three-pointer) in the Spurs’ 113-77 blowout Game 3 win during the 2013 NBA Finals.

Neal left the Spurs after the Game 7 loss, an unfortunate turn of events for any player as the team bounced back in 2014 to win the title.

Neal had some big moments starting with his workout with the Spurs that afforded him opportunities that brought him into the NBA. But his successes did not translate into longevity in the NBA. Neal rounded out his career with stints with five other NBA teams, most less than a full season, as well as time between three G-League teams before returning overseas with single seasons in Spain and Turkey.

As it turns out, Neal may have found his niche as an assistant coach. He has been with the Towson Tigers since retiring form playing in 2019.

Next up: A 2009 draftee starts and ends his career with the Spurs Organization.

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