Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
David Robinson (basketball player)
David Maurice Robinson (born August 6, 1965 in Key West, Florida) is an American former NBA basketball player, who was considered one of the greatest to ever play. A devout born-again Christian, Robinson is also an amateur musician who enjoys playing various instruments at home. His nickname is The Admiral, based on his service as an officer in the United States Navy.
When Robinson was a youngster, he moved many times with his family, as his father was a Navy officer. After his father retired from the Navy, the family settled in Northern Virginia, where he attended high school. He then enrolled in the US Naval Academy.
Robinson was an outstanding all-around athlete; during the physical tests that the Academy gave all of its incoming plebes, he scored higher on the gymnastics portions of the test than anyone in his class, except for the plebes who were slated to be on the Academy's gymnastics team. This was even more impressive because he was 6'7" (2.01 m) when he arrived at Annapolis. To put this in perspective, virtually all male gymnasts are well under 6 feet (1.83 m) tall, and the service academies prohibit anyone taller than 6'8" (2.03 m) from enrolling. However, the academies do not drop students who grow past the limit after enrolling there, which would prove to be important to Robinson.
College basketball career
He played NCAA basketball at the Naval Academy. By the time of his first basketball game for Navy, he was 6'9" (2.06 m), and would eventually grow to 7'1" (2.16 m). In his last two years, he was a consensus All-American, and won college basketball's two most prestigious player awards, the Naismith and Wooden Awards, as a first classman (senior). Upon graduation, he was eligible for the 1987 NBA draft. He was selected by the San Antonio Spurs, but had to wait two more years before he could join the NBA because he still had two years of duty left with the Navy. In a mildly controversial move, the Navy excused him from three of the normal five years of his military commitment because his height made it impossible for him to be deployed in many roles (e.g. aviation, the submarine corps, or many ships). He continued to serve in a reserve role with the Navy and was regularly featured in recruiting materials for the service.
Robinson was finally able to join the Spurs for the 1989–1990 season, and he helped the team make the playoffs, where they lost in seven games against eventual western conference champions Portland Trail Blazers. He was named the NBA rookie of the year after that season and SEGA immediately produced a game starring David, named David Robinson's Supreme Court.
The Spurs kept making the playoffs, but not winning the championship. Robinson made the 1992 US Olympic Dream Team that won the gold medal at the Barcelona Olympics, and he scored 71 points against the Clippers in the last game of the season to win the league scoring title over Shaquille O'Neal in 1994. Robinson went on to win the NBA's MVP trophy in 1995, and in 1996 he was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. Still, from 1991 to 1998, only the Chicago Bulls and the Houston Rockets were able to claim the NBA championship that Robinson desired so much.
Before the start of the 1998–1999 season, the NBA owners and David Stern locked out the players to force negotiation on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NBA Player's Association. The lockout lasted for 202 days until ultimately a new CBA was agreed upon by both sides. The season began February 5, 1999, therefore making it literally the 1999 NBA season. After playing a truncated 50 game season, the Spurs finished with a record of 37-13 which was the best in the NBA and gave the Spurs homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs. The Spurs were very successful in the first three rounds of the playoffs, beating the Minnesota Timberwolves, Los Angeles Lakers, and Portland Trailblazers with a combined record of 11-1. The combination of Robinson and second-year, seven-foot forward Tim Duncan was enough to win it all. They beat the New York Knicks in five games to become the NBA world's championship team. Although Duncan was named the Finals MVP, many credited Robinson's leadership as the essential component in the championship run.
Robinson announced he would retire from basketball after the 2003 campaign and, in the Spurs' case, playoffs.
In what could perhaps be called a fitting finale to Robinson's career, the Spurs won the 2003 world championship with a victory over the New Jersey Nets in Game Six of the 2003 NBA Finals. Robinson, who scored 13 points in his final game, credited God for the win. Known as the "Twin Towers," he and then-league MVP Tim Duncan shared Sports Illustrated magazine's 2003 Sportsmen of the Year award.
His career averages are of 21.1 points per game, 10.7 rebounds per game, 3.0 blocks per game and 2.5 assists per game. He is one of only a small group of players to have scored over 20,000 career points in the NBA, and one of only four players to have recorded a quadruple-double (with 34 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, and 10 blocks against the Detroit Pistons on Feb. 17, 1994).
Robinson will not only be remembered for his outstanding accomplishments throughout his NBA career, but more importantly, for his contributions in his community. He jump-started the Carver Academy in San Antonio by donating $11 million.
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