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.
37- Fabricio Oberto
Fabricio Oberto’s game never called attention to itself, much like Fabricio himself. He was the kind of player who always knew where to be and how to play, and he made everyone around him better with his heady play. In his four seasons on the Spurs, he averaged 3.6 points per game, but his impact on winning was much more important. Setting screens and making passes, he played a critical part in the 2006-2007 championship run, earning his place in the top 50 lineup.
The 6”10’ Argentinian played internationally for 6 years before joining the Spurs, and was part of the 2004 Olympic Gold Medal Argentine squad, along with another top 50 Spurs player. He joined the Spurs in the 2005-2006 season at age 30, coming off the bench for most of his first season, splitting time with Rasho Nesterovic. Rasho left the Spurs in the 2006-2007 season for Toronto, and Oberto took over the starting spot, playing an important supporting role as the Spurs swept LeBron James’s Cavaliers in the 2007 NBA finals. He had a health scare in 2009 with atrial fibrillation, which kept him inactive for much of the 2009 regular season, but it was successfully corrected by an ablation procedure in June 2009, allowing him to return to playing basketball in 2010 in Toronto, and 2011 in Portland.
Fabricio has continued to have a relationship with the Spurs after retiring from playing, taking a job as a color analyst with the Austin Spurs for G-League games and also working with the big team’s broadcast squad as a substitute when one of the regulars takes a break. Just like when he was playing, he’s a team player, making the people around him better. His commentary goes beyond just keeping track of the score, he also gives insight into the subtle factors that make a play succeed or fail, and explaining them in terms that even casual fans can follow. Spurs fans are lucky to have Fabricio on the broadcast, because besides being insightful and a good communicator, he’s funny and charismatic. It wouldn’t be a surprise if his role on the Spurs broadcasts didn’t keep expanding as he gains experience in the broadcast booth.
The countdown so far:
38 - Bryn Forbes
39 - Chuck “The Rifleman” Person
40 - Gene Banks
41 - Billy Paultz
42 - Willie Anderson
43 - “Speedy” Claxton
44 - Brent Barry
45 - Vinny del Negro
46 - Antonio Daniels
47 - DeJuan Blair
48 - Gary Neal
49 - Jaren Jackson
50 - Rod Strickland
Next up: A Slovenian bruiser who is Luka Doncic’s godfather.
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