'The Admiral' honors military families

NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson takes time to give thanks

Courtesy: Mark Mendez, KSAT Photojournalist

SAN ANTONIO – Former San Antonio Spur and U.S. Navy veteran David Robinson is the perfect example of what it means to be a contributing member of the community.

Robinson has never shied away from speaking to the public, participating in community service, or even taking a few pictures and signing autographs.

Even after retiring in 2003, Robinson continues to be an active member of the San Antonio community.

On Thursday, Robinson stopped by Fort Sam Houston at an event for Military Spouse Appreciation Day, which is officially Friday. Robinson gave a speech, took pictures and signed autographs for military members.

"Growing up in a military family I know what it's like," Robinson said. "My dad was missing a lot of the time as a young man and he left me with little electronic projects and things like that. I spent a lot of time working by myself but I know the price people pay to serve our country."

It's a blessing to come and encourage the families here that are paying price for us," Robinson said.

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After he was drafted by the Spurs in 1987, Robinson believes it was the perfect match coming to the Alamo City, considering the city's desire for community involvement and the respect for the military.

"That was really a stroke of luck being drafted here and this being Military City," Robinson said. "It just fit who I am, it fit who (Gregg) Popovich is. It just worked out perfectly. Sometimes you end up being more lucky than good. The relationship we've had with the city has been has been beyond what I could have imagined."

According to reports, Popovich is expected to return in leading the silver and black this upcoming season.

Many across the sports world, however, have wondered about Popovich's future coaching the Spurs, especially since the passing of his wife Erin over a year ago.

RELATED: Popovich expected to sign new deal with Spurs, ESPN reports

"I went to the funeral that they had up at the Air Force Academy. That's tough, I don't care who you are. Pop's always been a rock for this franchise and you almost never see him flinch," Robinson said.

"I don't care who you are, that's a tough thing to go through. You don't know how people are going to react. It's been a great thing for him to coach and it's a new family for him and I'm happy he's coming back. (Popovich) is fantastic."

Robinson also shared his thoughts on the departure of Kawhi Leonard, and this year's Spurs season, which ended in a first-round playoff exit to the Denver Nuggets.

"It was tough. The whole Kawhi situation was a nightmare for us. We felt like he was the perfect guy to follow up with Tim (Duncan). To see that he really wasn't happy here was surprising and disappointing," Robinson said. "It felt like we were having to restart our gears a little bit."

"I think bringing in DeMar (DeRozan) and LaMarcus (Aldridge), we were fortunate to get two highly talented players. We still obviously have some things we got to figure out; we're not where we need to be yet but we got pieces and that's all you can really ask as a franchise," he said.

KSAT viewers can hear more from "5-0" on Instant Replay starting at 11 p.m. Sunday.

Daniel P. Villanueva has worked with KSAT 12 Sports for over 16 years and is an award-winning sports producer. To submit story ideas, email sports@ksat.com​.