Former San Antonio Spurs defensive stalwart Bruce Bowen is about to join elite company in the AT&T Center's rafters.
Bowen will have his No. 12 jersey retired on March 21 during the Spurs home game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Bowen played for the Spurs from 2001 to 2009 and was a key part of the Spurs' three championships in that time period.
“Bruce Bowen was the premier perimeter defender in the NBA for close to a decade,” said Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich. “His success is proof that hard work and determination do, in fact, pay off. Statistics are meaningless when talking about his importance to this franchise. The simple fact is the Spurs don't win NBA Championships in 2003, 2005 and 2007 without Bruce Bowen.”
The 6-7 guard out of Cal State Fullerton earned a spot on the NBA’s All-Defensive Team in eight of his nine seasons with the Spurs (was a second team selection in 2001, 2002 and 2003 before earning first team honors in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008). Bowen is one of five swingmen in NBA history to earn All-Defensive Team honors in eight-or-more straight seasons joining Scottie Pippen (10 straight from 1991-00), Bobby Jones (nine straight from 1977-85), John Havlicek (eight straight from 1969-76) and Michael Cooper (eight straight from 1981-88).
Aside from his jersey being retired at the Timberwolves game, Bowen will also be honored at a Silver & Black Give Back Luncheon on March 19, where he will be joined by several former teammates.
Bowen's jersey will join those of former Spurs George Gervin, James Silas, Johnny Moore, David Robinson, Sean Elliott and Avery Johnson.
Very well deserved. Bruce was one of the best defenders of his time. He took pride in playing defense and would look forward to the challenge of guarding the Kobe Bryants, Lebron James, and Carmelo Anthonys of the NBA. And he worked on his offensive game, sure it wasn't the greatest of offensive repertoires, but he would reliably knock down that corner 3 time after time. Off the court Bruce was and still is just as great. He's remained a prominent figure amongst the spurs organization and in and around the community as well. Looking forward to seeing number 12 hanging from the rafters!
Most underrated Spur ever. Bowen was tasked with guarding the best player on the floor on a nightly basis and usually received little thanks for it. His defense and 3 point shots were often the difference between a win and a loss. Bowen embodied the spirit of the Spurs; hardworking, selfless, defensive-minded, and community oriented. Bruce will always be one of my favorite players and an all-time Spur. We love you BRRRUUUUUUCCCEE!!!!!!
@mdeleon I'm going!!!!!! Yay =)