The Austin Spurs is a basketball team based in Cedar Park, Texas and they competes in the NBA G League. The Austin Spurs has entered the postseason in 8 out of their 14 seasons in the NBA Development League. The team plays its home games at the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park. In October 2014, the San Antonio Spurs decided to purchase the franchise. That is why they changed the logo and the team’s color so that it would reflect their black and silver motif. In this article, we are going to know more about the history of the Austin Spurs.
History of Austin Spurs
The Austin Spurs was established as the Columbus Riverdragons in Columbus, Georgia. In 2005, the franchise was sold to Southwest Basketball, LLC, which is why it was relocated to the city of Austin, Texas. After the relocation, the franchise also changed its logo and name, where they became the Austin Toros. They were the first D-League team and the only NBA-associated team to have a nickname with a Spanish origin. The Austin Toros started playing during the 2005-2006 season.
In June 2007, the San Antonio Spurs acquired the Austin Toros, and they became the second D-League team that was owned by an NBA Team. This is because, in 2006, the Los Angeles D-Fenders were bought by the Los Angeles Lakers.
In August 2009, the Austin Toros declared that they would be moving to the Cedar Park Center from the Austin Convention Center when the 2010-2011 season started.
In April 2012, the Toros won against the Los Angeles D-Fenders during Game 2 of the NBA D-League Finals. They were able to secure their first-ever championship. Two years after that, the Austin Toros announced that they are changing their name to Austin Spurs in honor of their parent team.
In April 2018, the Austin Spurs won against the Raptors 905 and bagged their second G-League championship. The next year, the Austin Spurs compete in the 2019 FIBA International Cup in Rio de Janeiro. They became the first G League team to play in the tournament. However, they lost in the semi-final to the Brazilian professional basketball team, Flamengo.
What is the NBA G-League?
The NBA G-League, or simply known as the G-League, is the NBA’s official minor league, and it was founded in 2001. It was previously named as the NBA D-League from 2001 to 2005. However, during the 2017-2018 season, Gatorade Company Inc. became the title sponsor of the league, which became the NBA G-League. The league aims to prepare coaches, players, trainers, officials, and front-office staff for the NBA. They also act as the league’s research and development unit. The NBA G-League has 28 teams, all of whom have a direct affiliation with NBA franchises. The NBA G-League also aims to provide elite professional basketball experience but at an affordable price without sacrificing a fun and family-friendly atmosphere. Almost 52 percent of the NBA players during the end of the 2018-2019 season had NBA G-League experience. The NBA G-League also fosters their connection to the community, players, teams, and staff. They promote health and wellness, assist them in educational development through NBA Care Programs, as well as support their local interests and needs.
All-Time Leaders of the Austin Spurs
- Cardell “Squeaky” Johnson – Johnson joined the Austin Spurs on Nov. 27, and he played recurrently with the team between 2017-2014. In 2009 and 2010, Johnson decides to join the San Antonio Spurs for the NBA Summer League before he got reacquired by the Austin Spurs. Cardell Johnson played 229 games as a member of the Austin Spurs, and throughout his career with the team, he averaged 4.31 APG, 7.63 APG, 1.19 steals, and 2.63 RGB. Johnson currently holds the Spurs’ current record in total steals, total assist, and 3-points made. Aside from that, Johnson is in the second spot of the All-Time Austin Spurs list in total points made and fourth in the total rebound made.
- Marcus E. Williams – Williams played 89 games with the Austin Spurs. He averaged at 21.6 points per game, 4.4 assists per game, and 6.8 rebounds per game. Williams is considered to be the all-time scoring leader of the team.
- Jonathon Simmons – Throughout Simmons’ career with the Austin Spurs, he managed to score 1255 points and 97 steals. He played for about 98 games with the Austin Spurs.
- Justin Dentmon – Dentmon was with the Austin Spurs when they won the 2011-2012 NBA D-League Championship. When he was still a player of the Austin Spurs, Dentmon holds the four all-time records for the team, such as fourth in assists, fifth in total points scored.
- Eric Dawson – He used to be the player forward and center of the Austin Spurs sporadically between 2007 and 2014. He was also called to play with the San Antonio Spurs twice during the 2011-2012 season.
- Dwayne Jones – Jones played a total of 67 games with the Austin Spurs, where he averaged in about 14-9 RPG, 17.23 PPG, and 1.6 blocks per game. He was initially signed by the Minnesota Timberwolves, and he started as the undrafted rookie free agent in 2005.