San Antonio Spurs (NBA)

International Players, 2023-24

Charles BasseyCenterNigeria2023-24Lagos, Nigeria
Sidy CissokoForwardSenegal2023-24Dakar, Senegal
Cedi OsmanForwardTurkey2023-24Ohrid, North Macedonia
Victor WembanyamaForward / CenterFrance2023-24Paris, France

San Antonio Spurs Team History

The San Antonio Spurs, founded in 1967, have etched their name in NBA history through a remarkable blend of consistency, excellence, and an innovative approach to team-building. A cornerstone of their success lies in their tradition of integrating international players into their roster, revolutionizing the league’s dynamics. This international flavor took root in the late 1980s and early 1990s when the Spurs drafted players like the towering center David Robinson, a product of the United States Naval Academy, who would later solidify their frontline dominance. However, it was in the late 1990s that the Spurs truly embraced the global talent pool, a decision that reshaped the franchise’s trajectory.

The turning point came with the selection of Tim Duncan from the U.S. Virgin Islands with the first overall pick in the 1997 NBA Draft. Duncan’s arrival marked the beginning of an era defined by the Spurs’ international flair. Alongside the iconic duo of Duncan and Robinson, the team strategically recruited talent from around the world. One of the most notable acquisitions was Tony Parker, a lightning-fast point guard hailing from France, selected in the 2001 NBA Draft. Parker’s impact was immediate, earning NBA Finals MVP honors in 2007 as he guided the Spurs to their fourth championship. Another pivotal addition was Manu Ginóbili, the crafty shooting guard from Argentina, whose relentless style of play and clutch performances became synonymous with Spurs basketball. Together, Duncan, Parker, and Ginóbili formed the core of a dynasty that captured five NBA championships between 1999 and 2014, solidifying the Spurs’ status as a global powerhouse.

The Spurs’ commitment to international talent transcended borders and continents. Players like Boris Diaw from France, Tiago Splitter from Brazil, and Patty Mills from Australia all made significant contributions to the team’s success, demonstrating the franchise’s keen eye for talent beyond American shores. This international pipeline not only brought diversity to the roster but also showcased the NBA’s global appeal.