Left: Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images, Right: Photo by a Bettmann Contributor via Getty Images

The San Antonio Spurs All-Time Starting 5 Won Big in Black and Silver

The San Antonio Spurs began as an ABA franchise in 1973 and then merged into the NBA in 1976. They are the only one of the four ABA teams to merge into the NBA to win a title. However, the championship trophies are all more recent accomplishments. So, when looking into the top lineup of all-time Spurs players, almost all of the players took the court in the 21st century, and almost all of them did so under long-time head coach Gregg Popovich.

As a reminder, this is strictly about the NBA version of the Spurs and does not take into account any ABA stats. This means it also cannot include Andre Benjamin's character Clarence Withers who played on the Spurs in the "Megabowl" in the movie "Semi-Pro." We take this stuff seriously.

David Robinson — Center

David Robinson at his Basketball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Related: David Robinson Became "The Admiral" in the Navy, Then Dominated in the NBA

  • 14 seasons as a Spur
  • 21 points per game / 11 rebounds per game / 3 assists per game
  • 10x All-Star
  • 1995 MVP
  • 2x NBA Champion
  • 4x All-NBA 1st Team
  • 1992 Defensive Player of the Year
  • 4x All-Defense 1st Team
  • 1990 Rookie of the Year
  • NBA 75th Anniversary Team

Imagine an NBA prospect being so enticing that he's selected No. 1 even though he'd have to sit out his first two seasons due to military service obligations. We've seen top picks miss their rookie years, like Blake Griffin, but this was multiple seasons before Robinson would put on a Spurs uniform. That's impressive, and for the most part, Robinson delivered on his potential.

Sure, he didn't find ultimate playoff success until he was teamed with the next player. But Robinson still had a no-doubt Hall of Fame career and was named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team. Also, his nickname "The Admiral" also belongs in the Hall of Fame.

Tim Duncan — Power Forward

Tim Duncan reacts to a play in the Western Conference Finals in 2013

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Related: Tim Duncan's College Days Paved Way for Hall-of-Fame Career

  • 19 seasons as a Spur
  • 19 points per game / 11 rebounds per game / 3 assists per game
  • 15x All-Star
  • 2x MVP
  • 5x NBA Champion
  • 3x Finals MVP
  • 10x All-NBA 1st Team
  • 8x All-Defense 1st Team
  • 1998 Rookie of the Year
  • NBA 75th Anniversary Team

San Antonio selected Duncan out of Wake Forest with the No. 1 pick in the 1997 Draft. It would only take two seasons for Duncan to lead the Spurs to the first title. Duncan won MVP awards in 2002 and 2003 and was the straw that stirred the drink of four more championship teams.

Duncan is frequently mentioned as the best power forward in NBA history and is a top 10 overall player (it's even arguable he's top 5). The Spurs franchise were incredibly lucky to have the chance to select Robinson No. 1, but getting Duncan as well would lead you to believe San Antonio is filled with fields of four-leaf clovers. Simply put, without Tim Duncan, the Spurs wouldn't have been able to stop Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers from completely owning the Western Conference and appearing in every NBA Finals for a decade. 

George Gervin — Small Forward

George Gervin during a stoppage in play during a Spurs game.

Photo by a Bettmann Contributor via Getty Images

  • 9 seasons as a Spur (NBA)
  • 27 points per game / 5 rebounds per game / 3 assists per game
  • 9x All-Star
  • 5x All-NBA 1st Team
  • NBA 75th Anniversary Team

Gervin is the lone member of this lineup who played in the '70s. He was part of the ABA version of the Spurs and then played nine seasons in the NBA for San Antonio. One of the most gifted scorers in basketball history, Gervin is seventh all-time in scoring in ABA history (21.9 PPG) and ninth all-time in NBA history (26.2 PPG).

Gervin led the NBA in scoring four separate times and also had a phenomenal nickname in "The Iceman." Unfortunately, he's also the only Spur in this lineup who lacks an NBA title on his resumé.

Manu Ginóbili — Shooting Guard

Manu Ginobili reacts after hitting a shot against the Oklahoma City Thunder

Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Related: A Legendary Run: Beloved Spurs Guard Manu Ginobili Retires

  • 16 seasons as a Spur
  • 13 points per game / 4 rebounds per game / 4 assists per game
  • 2x All-Star
  • 4x NBA Champion
  • 2008 6th Man of the Year

Ginobili's path to the Spurs was somewhat similar to Robinson's. San Antonio selected the guard with the 57th pick in the 1999 NBA Draft with the knowledge he would not join the team immediately. Instead, Ginobili played in Italy for three more seasons where he won two league MVPs and one league title.

He finally came to the Spurs for the 2002-03 season and was part of a championship season in his rookie year. Ginobili would collect three more championship rings with the Spurs while shooting 37 percent from three during his career. He was part of the most recent induction class for the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Tony Parker — Point Guard

Tony Parker calls out a defensive play int he Western Conference Finals

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Related: Tony Parker Found Love Again After His Divorces

  • 17 seasons as a Spur
  • 16 points per game / 3 rebounds per game / 6 assists per game
  • 6x All-Star
  • 4x NBA Champion
  • 2007 Finals MVP

Parker is the final member of the Spurs Big Three who won title in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014. San Antonio selected him with the 28th pick in the 2001 Draft out of the French league. Over his 17 seasons as a Spur, Parker was worth over 111 Win Shares.

Things could have worked out much differently for Parker and the Spurs if the Summer of 2003 had gone another way. San Antonio courted Jason Kidd to become their new point guard, forming at the time what could have been the most dynamic duo in the league with Duncan. Kidd ultimately stayed in New Jersey (which he regrets) and Parker became a Spurs legend.

Kawhi Leonard — 6th Man

Kawhi Leonard hits a three-pointer for the San Antonio Spurs

Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Related: Kawhi Leonard Protects His Family From the Limelight

  • 7 seasons as a Spur
  • 16 points per game / 6 rebounds per game / 2 assists per game
  • 2x All-Star
  • 2014 NBA Champion
  • 2014 Finals MVP
  • 2x All-NBA 1st Team
  • 2x Defensive Player of the Year
  • 3x All-Defense 1st Team
  • NBA 75th Anniversary Team

The player in this lineup who suited up the fewest times for San Antonio. However, Leonard's time as a Spur was so impressive, that he has to be included here. Leonard was drafted No. 15th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers and then traded to San Antonio for George Hill. 

The Spurs beat LeBron James and the Miami Heat for the NBA title in Leonard's third season, and he was named Finals MVP. In the final three games of the series (all Spurs wins), Leonard averaged 24 points, 9 rebounds and shot 54 percent from three. Leonard's career skyrocketed from there and while the end of his time in San Antonio was bizarre, he's still an all-time Spur.

Off the Bench

  • James Silas
  • Sean Elliott
  • Avery Johnson
  • LaMarcus Aldridge

MORE: Sean Elliott's "Memorial Day Miracle" Launched San Antonio's Dynasty