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.
46- Antonio Daniels
Antonio Daniels was drafted fourth overall in the 1997 NBA Draft by the Vancouver Grizzlies. He had a solid NBA start playing in 75 games averaging 7.8 points and 4.5 assists during his rookie campaign, so much so that he caught the eye of the San Antonio Spurs who traded Felipe López and Carl Herrera for him.
Daniels played four seasons with the Silver & Black including their successful 1999 title run. He was predominantly a backup guard during his time in San Antonio. After four seasons he was traded along with Charles Smith and Amal McCaskill to the Portland Trail Blazers for Erick Barkley, Steve Kerr, and a conditional second-round pick in the 2003 NBA draft.
But his time in San Antonio made an impression on Daniels. Although he played in Portland, Seattle, Washington, New Orleans, and Philadelphia, he returned to The Alamo City after retiring. Alongside his wife, Sonia, is a San Antonio native, they operate The Daniels Family Foundation whose mission includes faith, family, and fitness.
He has appeared multiple times on local morning show Great Day SA to promote his basketball camps and the foundation’s goals. On one such trip just before the pandemic, he and his wife shared the segment. I just happened to be performing that same morning and had the chance to meet the man face to face.
I always try to stay cool, but failing miserably. We chatted briefly about basketball and more about San Antonio, his journey, life off the court, and his dedication to his foundation.
Like David Robinson and George Gervin, Daniels has chosen San Antonio as his home and taken great care to create opportunities for youth, leaving his imprint on the city.
Next up: A mid-90s fan favorite lights up the David Robinson era.
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