On Nov. 5, 1989 (IST), David Robinson and Sean Elliott made their NBA debut for the San Antonio Spurs in a 106-98 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Robinson, whose debut was delayed by a couple of years due to military commitments (Navy) after being drafted No. 1 overall by the Spurs in the 1987 NBA Draft, finished with a double-double of 23 points and 17 rebounds in his first game. Elliott, meanwhile, finished with 16 points and five rebounds in the win.
With averages of 24.3 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.9 blocks and 2.0 assists across all 82 games, the 7-foot-1 Robinson was unanimously voted as the Rookie of the Year. Responsible for one of the greatest single-season turnarounds, wherein the Spurs improved from 21 wins to 56 wins, he also made the All-NBA Third Team.
Elliott, who recorded averages of 10.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game, was named to the All-Rookie Second Team.
As starters on the franchise's first championship in 1999, the duo are two of only 10 players who have had their jersey retired by the Spurs. While Elliott played 11 of his 12 seasons in San Antonio, Robinson represented the Spurs in all of his 14 years in the NBA.
Robinson finished off his career as a 10-time All-Star, 10-time All-NBA, eight-time All-Defense, one-time league MVP and one-time scoring champion. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame twice - in 2009 for his individual career and in 2010 as a member of the 1992 "Dream Team."
Other notable events on Nov. 5 (AEDT)
- In 1948, George Mikan made his NBA debut for the Minneapolis Lakers in an 84-72 win over the Baltimore Bullets.
- In 1961, Wilt Chamberlain's NBA record 65-game streak of scoring 30 points or more began. He recorded a double-double of 58 points and 33 rebounds in a 135-132 win for the Philadelphia Warriors over the Detroit Pistons. The second-longest streak ever of 31 games was also set by Chamberlain in the following season (1962-63).
- In 1988, the Charlotte Hornets played their first NBA game. In front of 23,388 fans at the sold-out Charlotte Coliseum, they were defeated by the Cleveland Cavaliers, 133-93.
- In 1989, the Orlando Magic played their first NBA game at Orlando Arena, falling short to the New Jersey Nets, 111-106.
- In 1994, after playing their previous 28 seasons in Chicago Stadium, the Chicago Bulls opened their new arena - the United Center. Led by Scottie Pippen's 22 points, the Bulls recorded a 89-83 win over the Charlotte Hornets.
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