On this day in 1994, San Antonio Spurs center David Robinson became just the fourth NBA player to score 70 points in a game, hitting for 71 in the Spurs’ 112-97 road win against the LA Clippers. Robinson finished the 1993-94 season as the NBA’s scoring champion, edging out Orlando’s Shaquille O’Neal 29 8 to 29 3 ppg. The 1st pick in the 1987 NBA Draft, Robinson’s active-duty obligation with the U.S. Navy prevented his NBA debut for two years. When Robinson finally got the chance to join the Spurs in 1989, it became quickly apparent that the pick was well worth it. As a rookie, Robinson made an immediate impact on the Spurs averaging 24.3 points, 12 rebounds, 1.7 steals, and 3.9 blocks. The Spurs won 35 more games than the previous season, and Robinson’s efforts led the Spurs to the 1990 NBA Western Conference Semifinals where they were beaten by the Portland Trail Blazers in a heated seven-game series. In his 14 seasons with the Spurs, Robinson would eventually help the team win two NBA championships in 1999 and 2003. In the 1999 NBA Finals, Robinson averaged 16.6 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 3 blocks to help the Spurs defeat the New York Knicks in only five games. The championship marked the first title in Spurs franchise history. In Game 6 of the 2003 NBA Finals, Robinson’s last career game, he scored 13 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to end his career and give San Antonio their second championship. Robinson’s other accolades include 10x All-NBA Team selections, 8x NBA All-Defensive Team selections, NBA Defensive Player of the Year 1992, NBA MVP 1995, and 10x NBA All-Star. Robinson was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2009 and his no. 50 was retired by the San Antonio Spurs.
Today in Sports History: April 24