It’s hard today to aptly describe the awaiting of David Maurice Robinson to the NBA. This was when the center position was still revered but was losing its luster to wing players. But Robinson was different; He was 7-1 and could jump like a pogo stick. Even better, his commitment to serving his country meant that he would have a two-year delay before he entered the pros(much like Roger Staubach of the NFL Dallas Cowboys). Thus, Robinson would enter the league 20 years after Kareem Abdul Jabbar and several months after retiring that legend (which mirrored Abdul Jabbar’s entry several months after the departure of the great Bill Russell). But there would be several real questions? a.) Could Robinson dominate like Kareem or Russell? b.) Could he make the Spurs (21 game winners the year before) into a solid team? c.) Could Robinson dominate after two years of virtual inactivity? Well, on November 4th, 1989, the basketball world would get its first peak.
Their matchup would be against the L.A. Lakers, 3-time conference champs, and the era team. Now, without Abdul Jabbar, the Lakers would feature reigning MVP Earvin “Magic” Johnson and former Finals MVP James Worthy. The Lakers themselves were now eager to prove they could succeed without their retired Captain. In essence, was it the MVP vs. the Rook? Who would prevail? Well, neither man was disappointed, as Magic would put up 24 points, 10 assists, and 9 rebounds. However, Robinson was spectacular, as he had 23 points, 17 rebounds, and 3 blocks as the new-look Spurs would win 106-98, and a new era was born in the Alamo.