Prior to Game 1 of the 1995 Western Conference Finals, David Robinson and NBA commissioner David Stern stood at half court of the Alamodome. Robinson, who had capped off one of the most impressive individual seasons in recent memory and led the Spurs to the best record in the league at 62-20, was receiving his rightfully deserved MVP trophy.
During the regular season, Robinson averaged 27.6 points, 10.8 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game and shot 53 percent from the floor. The Spurs, who had dominated the Rockets in their meetings that season, were trying to get to the NBA Finals, but had to go through the defending champs in a best of seven series first.
Robinson addressed the San Antonio faithful, thanking his teammates, his coaches, his family, and the fans. He referenced Shaquille O’Neal in his speech, and other great big men in the league like Karl Malone.
“This is probably the most important award I’ve ever won,” Robinson said at the time. “The gold medal from ’92 is more of a memory thing, I think. That team was unbelievable, and that was a big part of my growth process as a player. But, as an award, this MVP tops all of them, and if we win the championship, that obviously will go ahead of this one.”
There was one glaring omission in the heartfelt speech, at least from the perspective of the other sideline – Robinson didn’t mention the league’s MVP from the year prior, Hakeem Olajuwon.