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Spurs 50 for 50, Number 16: Matt Bonner

A sharpshooter of many nicknames makes his mark in San Antonio.

San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Five Photo by Stephen Dunn/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.

16 - Matt Bonner

No one would blame you for thinking Matt Bonner is too high on our list of the greatest San Antonio Spurs of all time. The six-ten power forward won two rings in ten years, but that oversells his contributions. He only started 20 games once, never averaged double-digit points, and seldom garnered significant minutes during the postseason.

PATFO landed Bonner in a relatively innocuous trade that shipped starting center Rasho Nesterovic to the Toronto Raptors. Although he struggled to adjust in his first few seasons, the Red Mamba eventually flourished as an automatic three-point shooter, a niche role that would make him a favorite among fans and teammates.

The lovable stretch-four nailed at least 42% of his trifectas six times while wearing the Silver and Black, and his career 41.4% three-point percentage ranks 19th in league history. Bonner made it to the final of the Three-Point Contest in 2013 and paced the NBA with a phenomenal 45.7% three-point percentage in 2011.

Matt Bonner was a seamless fit with the organizational culture, which was only a bonus to his charming disposition and readiness not to take himself too seriously. With a bizarre shot seemingly modeled after the Hunchback of Notre Dame, a basketball coach parody series, and a sandwich hunting show, he was a meme machine before the age of social media.

Next Up: Another star sidekick of the 1980s etches his way into the history books.

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