The NBA has no shortage of legendary players with iconic nicknames. For instance, there’s Kobe Bryant who’s also known as the ‘Black Mamba.’ Additionally, there’s Earvin Johson who’s more commonly known as ‘Magic Johnson.’ Then, there’s ‘The Admiral;’ but who’s the NBA Hall of Famer with that nickname?
NBA’s The Admiral is David Maurice Robinson, a 7-foot 1-inch player that played for the San Antonio Spurs. He had that particular nickname in the professional basketball league as it attributes to his time with the Navy.
Here, you’re going to learn more about the NBA’s ‘Admiral.’ You’ll learn more about his early life, his military career, and his time in the NBA.
Who is The Admiral in the NBA?
David Maurice Robinson was born in Key West, Florida. He grew up in this city before moving to Virginia with his family. At the time, he was not considered a college prospect, but he eventually chose to attend the US Naval Academy. Here, he majored in mathematics and joined the educational institution’s basketball team.
At first, Robinson was a walk-on who averaged just 7.6 points as a freshman. During his first year in college, he had a height of 6 foot 4 inches. But his body had other plans as he grew seven more inches by the time he hit senior year.
The Admiral’s College Years
Robinson is regarded as one of the best basketball players in the history of the US Naval Academy. He started college with no expectations of being an NBA player. But in his final two years, he was an All-American and won the Naismith and Wooden Award as a first classman.
Additionally, he was selected first overall pick by the San Antonio Spurs in the 1987 NBA draft. However, due to his obligation with the Navy, he had to wait two years before he was selected.
The Admiral’s NBA Career
After his military service, Robinson entered the San Antonio Spurs in the 1989-90 season. As it stood, the San Antonio Spurs had been one of the worst teams in the history of the NBA during the second half of the ’80s. When they selected Robinson in the 1984 draft, they were widely expected to become a contender once again.
To many people’s surprise, the Spurs set a new record for the most improved game during the season. The team even went on to win the Western Conference Semi-finals. Additionally, the Spurs made the playoffs for the seventh straight season. Robinson would continue his success in professional basketball by making the US Olympic Dream Team in 1992. In 1995, Robinson won the NBA’s Most Valuable Player title, and in 1996, he became one of the league’s 50 Greatest Players.
During the 1999 lockout season, the San Antonio Spurs became the first team to reach the NBA Finals after winning their first three rounds of the playoffs. Their combination of Tim Duncan with the Admiral became too much for the New York Knicks to handle.
Unfortunately, Robinson suffered from back injuries throughout his career. Many believe that many of his injuries stem from his tall height. Thankfully, these problems didn’t stop Robinson from earning more success in his NBA career.
In 1999, he averaged 17.8 points, 10 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game. During the 1999 to 2000 season, he helped carry the San Antonio Spurs through scoring and rebounding. After the 2002 to 2003 season, Robinson decided to call it a career. On June 15, 2003, which is the finale of The Admiral’s NBA Career, the Spurs won another NBA title with a victory over the New Jersey Nets.
The Admiral After the NBA
In 2008, Robinson and Daniel Bassichis, former employees of Goldman Sachs, formed Admiral Capital Group, a private equity firm. Their goal was to create a platform that can provide both social and financial returns. Admiral Capital’s portfolio includes several upscale hotels and office buildings.
Robinson is also a philanthropist as he supports the Carver Academy’s charitable efforts. In 2011, Robinson attained the Children’s Champion Award for his work with the said institution. Watch a clip of the momentous event below.
David Maurice Robinson is an American former NBA player who spent his entire career with the San Antonio Spurs from 1989 to 2003. Nicknamed ‘The Admiral’ because of his time with the Navy, Robinson is one of the most notable centers in the history of college and professional basketball. Even after graduating from the NBA, Robinson continues to show up in headlines because of his business and philanthropic efforts.