David Robinson NBA Nickname The Admiral
February 23, 2012 by staff
David Robinson NBA Nickname The Admiral, David Maurice Robinson (born August 6, 1965(1965-08-06)) is a retired American NBA basketball player, who played center for the San Antonio Spurs for his entire NBA career. Based on his prior service as an officer in the United States Navy, Robinson earned the nickname “The Admiral”.
He and teammate power forward Tim Duncan were nicknamed “The Twin Towers”. Robinson was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame along with Michael Jordan, John Stockton, Jerry Sloan, and C. Vivian Stringer on September 11, 2009.
He is widely considered to be one of the greatest centers in NBA history.
David Robinson was born August 6, 1965, in Key West, Florida, the second child of Ambrose and Freda Robinson. Since Robinson’s father was in the Navy, the family moved many times. After his father retired from the Navy, the family settled in Woodbridge, Virginia, where Robinson excelled in school and in most sports, except basketball.
He was 5 feet, 9 inches tall in junior high school so he tried his hand at basketball, but soon quit. Robinson attended Osbourn Park High School in Manassas, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C., where Robinson’s father was working as an engineer after retiring from the Navy. By his senior year in high school he was 6 feet, 7 inches tall, but he had not played organized basketball.
When the coach added the tall senior to the basketball team, Robinson earned all-area and all-district honors but generated little interest among college basketball coaches. Robinson scored a 1320 on the SAT, and he chose to go to the U.S. Naval Academy, where he majored in mathematics.
Although there was speculation that Robinson might choose not to sign with the Spurs and to become a free agent once his Navy commitment ended, Robinson decided in the end to come to San Antonio. Robinson joined the Spurs for the 1989-90 season, and led the Spurs to the greatest single season turnaround in NBA history at the time (a record the Spurs themselves broke in 1997-98, after drafting Tim Duncan, which was then broken by the Boston Celtics in the 2007-08 NBA season).
The Spurs went from 21-61 in the 1988-89 season to 56-26 in 1989-90, for a remarkable 35 game improvement. They advanced to the second round of the Western Conference playoffs where they lost in seven games to the eventual conference champion Portland Trail Blazers. Following the 1989-90 season, he was unanimously named the NBA rookie of the year, and subsequently Sega produced a game featuring him entitled David Robinson’s Supreme Court.
The Spurs made the playoffs seven more seasons in a row, but never advanced further than the Western Conference finals. Robinson also made the 1992 US Olympic Dream Team that won the gold medal in Barcelona. During the 1993-94 season, he became locked in a duel for the NBA scoring title with Shaquille O’Neal, scoring 71 points (breaking George Gervin’s single-game franchise record of 63 on the final day of the 1977-78 NBA season) against the Los Angeles Clippers to win it.
Robinson went on to win the MVP trophy in 1995, and in 1996 he was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. Still, from 1991 to 1996, Robinson was thwarted in his quest to claim the one prize that had eluded him: an NBA title. During that span the Spurs were eliminated from the playoffs by the Warriors, Suns (twice), Jazz (twice), and Rockets. The loss against the Rockets was particularly painful for Robinson because it occurred in the Western Conference Finals with Robinson playing head-to-head against his chief rival, Hakeem Olajuwon. By his own admission, Robinson was outplayed by Olajuwon in the series, their only meetings in post-season play.
Early in the 1997 season, Robinson’s dreams of becoming a champion seemed to vanish when he was seriously injured. Robinson hurt his back in the preseason. He did return to play, but six games later, suffered a broken foot in a home game against the Miami Heat, and ended up missing the rest of the regular season. As a result of the injury to Robinson and other key players, the Spurs finished the season with a dismal 20-62 record.
However, his injury proved to be a blessing in disguise: due to their dismal record in 1997, the Spurs enjoyed the first pick in the next year’s NBA draft, and with it they selected Tim Duncan out of Wake Forest University, who was, after a few years, the final key to Robinson’s quest for an NBA title.
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