154. Johnny Moore|
One of our more unlikely candidates to make the list. Most have not he
heard of Johnny Moore, but in his day he was one of the most capable point guards in the NBA and one of it’s best defenders. He also has one of the most unlikely stories of any NBA player.
He became one of the youngest players in University of Texas history when he joined the team in 1975 at just 17 years old. He played 4 years at UT averaging 13 points in 112 career games. He was selected in the second round of the 1979 NBA draft, and the next day sold to the San Antonio Spurs but during training camp he was released.
Moore would get another chance though, the Spurs signed him in March of 1980 and though he did not get to play a game in 1979-80 he was able to stick. In 80-81 he became a key member of the Spurs bench and by mid season was even starting, the following season he became the teams fulltime starting point guard.
While never a great scorer Moore became known as one of the NBA’s premier point guards. In a game in 1985 against the Indiana Pacers Moore recorded a Spurs franchises record 10 steals and is only one of a handful of players to each reach double figure steals in NBA history. Moore also averaged a near double-double four consecutive years from 1981 until 1985, and lead the NBA in assists in 1981.
Early in the 1985 season Moore suffered an injury which would drastically change his career. He was never the same player after that and his numbers dropped as did his playing time. The following season he became a backup to Alvin Robertson, and early in the 1987-88 season the Spurs parted ways with their once star point guard.
Moore quickly found another spot with the New Jersey Nets but that lasted just one game before he was released a gain. Moore though his career was over and began moving on until early in the 89-90 season when he got a call from the Spurs asking him to return for a final season. In his final season he became a key role player and helped the Spurs make their first deep playoff run in several seasons.
Moore is currently working with AAU basketball in Austin and his number 00 was retired by the Spurs.
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