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Happy birthday to Johnny Moore

The Spurs legend turns 66 today

Cleveland Cavaliers v San Antonio Spurs Photos by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

Today, Spurs legend Johnny Moore turns 66. The University of Texas point guard played with the San Antonio Spurs the entirety of his NBA career save one game with the New Jersey Nets (and only ten minutes at that).

Moore was a beacon of light in an otherwise dark period of the Spurs franchise. He played in the time between George Gervin and David Robinson when the Spurs had their (previous) only consecutive seasons without a playoff berth.

As old school fans will recall, Moore suffered from “Desert Fever,” a rare and mysterious disease he contracted. The treatment involved administering a drug through a hole drilled into his skull.

Moore holds a special place for me as I was one of many adoring adolescent fans he spent time visiting with after a game against the Denver Nuggets back during the HemisFair Arena days.

In his signature, he put quotes around the double-o portion of Moore (stylized as M“oo”re) to signify his jersey number 00, which was retired by the Spurs on March 20, 1998, leaving his legacy hanging in the rafters for all to see.

The 1982 NBA Assist leader is still a part of basketball. He has moved about Texas as a head coach for minor league teams as well as various schools.

As part of the Spurs 50th anniversary, Moore recently took center court in-between quarters to receive a well-deserved standing ovation from the crowd in attendance.

Before the game, he smiled for photos with fans. I was able to stand with him for a moment, just as I had nearly 40 years ago at the HemisFair Arena.

Happy birthday, Mr. Moore.

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