This yr the Spurs are celebrating their fiftieth season in San Antonio. There had been many highs and a couple of lows. One trademark of the San Antonio Spurs has been their tradition and their consistency. The keys to these qualities lie of their gamers. Always famous for building in addition to being forward of the curve on scouting global gamers, the Spurs approach has made the franchise some of the a success of all time. As we glance again at the Silver & Black, we acknowledge the highest 50 gamers in Spurs historical past. Each day, we will be able to transfer up the countdown.
Number 7- Sean Elliott
Sean Elliott joined the San Antonio Spurs simply as one thing particular used to be taking place within the Alamo City. Elliott didn’t content material himself with ultimate within the shadow of greatness, he stood along a large and made vital contributions. His skill, certain angle, and championship mentality created one of the crucial Spurs’ maximum memorable playoff moments, and led at once to their first NBA Championship. Season after season Elliott’s relentless pursuit for greatness added to a tradition that used to be defining and setting apart itself from the remainder of the NBA.
In 1989, the San Antonio Spurs had been coming off their worst season in franchise historical past. The coming near near arrival of David Robinson used to be inflicting a citywide frenzy of pleasure. Head Coach Larry Brown used to be unknowingly making ready for what would develop into the best single-season turnaround in NBA historical past.* The items he used to be assembling would no longer handiest get the Spurs out of stoop, however would construct the crew that will take the Spurs thru their first Championship in 1999.
*The 35 sport development can be bettered through the 97-98 Spurs (36 video games) and bested through the 07-08 Boston Celtics (42 video games)
On June 27, 1989, the Spurs drafted Sean Elliott third, and he joined the highest select of the 1987 draft, David Robinson. Together they started the lengthy street to rebuilding the Spurs. In every of his first six seasons with the Spurs, Elliott’s scoring greater from 10 sooner or later to twenty issues according to sport.
Elliott’s taking part in taste derived flowed from his duration and pace. His wiry body and 3-point accuracy led defenders to play him at the perimeter looking forward to lengthy soar photographs. But Sean used his quickness to chop into the paint, frequently shedding one defender and forcing any other to both go away Robinson for him or, maximum frequently, status pat in a lose/lose scenario. As a outcome, spotlight reels of Sean Elliott dunks are readily to be had. Unafraid to take the ball to the basket, Elliott would collide with defenders, stand up, and muscle his shot in. But his sport used to be excess of simply dunks — there have been assists, quite a lot of soar photographs, loose throws, 3-pointers and an arsenal of deadly ball-handling that made him crucial to the Spurs 90’s upward thrust.
In 1993, together with his issues according to sport, assists, and steals at occupation highs, Elliott made his first NBA All-Star look with Robinson.
Unfortunately, on the finish of the 1993 season, the Spurs traded Sean Elliott and David Wood to the Detroit Pistons for rebound sensation Dennis Rodman. The have compatibility would end up a bust as Elliott’s scoring declined and wasn’t in a position to gel with with Piston leaders. He stayed only one season with Detroit ahead of a industry with the Houston Rockets for Robert Horry used to be put into movement.
But the industry with the Rockets used to be by no means finalized. Elliott didn’t go the bodily and his kidney situation —focal glomerulosclerosis— used to be uncovered. Although he had the situation which prevents the kidneys from correctly filtering waste from the blood- the Pistons had agreed to the industry to do away with Rodman. In the top, the Spurs traded again to Detroit acquiring Elliott for Billy Curley and the second one spherical select that was Charles O’Bannon.
In the time between when the Elliott/Horry industry didn’t materialize and when the Spurs regained #32, Sean in short thought to be retirement, however sooner or later determined to fit up as soon as once more.
Along with Robinson’s MVP dominance and level guard Avery Johnson’s skill to dish out assists, a Spurs Big 3 used to be forming — lengthy ahead of the time period would ever be coined for the trio of Duncan, Ginobili, and Parker. It used to be only a subject of time ahead of the ability units of the Spurs would mature.
While averaging 20 issues according to sport in 1996, Sean used to be as soon as once more invited to the NBA All-Star sport, which used to be happening on his house courtroom within the Alamodome. In one wonderful season, Sean would execute his maximum memorable feat, win an NBA Championship, and go through a kidney transplant.
The 1999 season didn’t start smartly for the Spurs. A 6-8 run used to be giving gamers and enthusiasts doubts in regards to the eventual consequence. Elliott had ignored 46 video games the former season, however his sport used to be slowly returning. With the addition of Tim Duncan to the Spurs beginning line-up, Sean Elliott’s ground spacing skill was much more deadly. While hopes had been emerging, the Spurs went on a 31-5 run to finish the shortened lockout season and input the playoffs the highest seed within the NBA. Elliott sooner or later shot 40% from past the arc whilst scoring 11.9 PPG within the playoffs. But it wasn’t simply Sean’s consistency that drove the crew. Elliott holds what’s frequently thought to be THE defining momentum booster of the 1999 Championship- The Memorial Day Miracle:
With 12 seconds left, the Spurs had been down through two issues with no need ever held a lead within the sport. Mario Elie handed the ball into Elliott who stuck it at the out-of-bounds line and —in a fluid motion— grew to become, shot the ball over a towering Rasheed Wallace, and landed the Spurs their first lead of the night, and a leg up within the collection. The shift in momentum used to be sufficient to boost the Spurs to the extent of champions. You can watch the fantastic shot from a couple of angles on this clip:
The Spurs ended the season with a championship, and in a while thereafter Sean Elliott underwent a kidney transplant, a present from his brother Noel.
In a true display of heroics, Elliott returned to the Spurs months after the transplant to finish the 2000 season. He persevered as a starter right through the 2000-2001 season as the Spurs completed with the most efficient file within the NBA. But on the finish of the season, Elliott decided it used to be time to retire from basketball.
Though his time at the courtroom had ended, Elliott maintained his position within the sport as a Spurs TV Analyst. Along together with his spouse Bill Land, Spurs enthusiasts are handled night time after night time to announcers who actually love their jobs and are entire enthusiasts in their crew. They are unapologetic Spurs homer announcers frequently the usage of “we” when speaking in regards to the Spurs, and the enthusiasts adore it. Year after yr, their scores rank a number of the best possible within the NBA. Sean Elliott, all the time a fan favourite, transcended the courtroom and has maintained an crucial position with the Spurs.
On March 6, 2005, Sean Elliott used to be commemorated through the Spurs group through having #32 retired and his jersey hung from the rafters of the AT&T Center.
Next up: Love him for his play or hate him for his antics, he’s nonetheless one of the crucial very best to ever put on the Silver & Black.
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