Former NBA player Kevin Willis reportedly had some valuable championship memorabilia stolen from his storage unit in Georgia, primarily 10 championship jerseys worn by the San Antonio Spurs.
“According to police documents, the theft was reported to cops by Willis on Tuesday afternoon … after the 60-year-old ex-Spurs center noticed 10 title unis belonging to his former San Antonio teammates were missing from his spot at a Roswell, Ga. rental storage facility.
“In the docs, cops say Willis told them the pieces were worth approximately $100,000. They also say he told them an additional rack of clothes worth around $9,000 was taken from the unit.
“In a 911 call, Willis can be heard telling dispatch the jerseys had been inside of frames inside the locker.
“‘This stuff came from when I was playing,’ he said. ‘These have been around for 20 years and they took all the high-profile personnel that was on there. They took all of those. And they left four of them back or something like that.’
“Police say when they went on to inspect the locker, they noticed ‘the locks appeared to have been cut and were on the inside of the storage unit.’ They added that Willis told them the last time he had seen the unit was in June.
“Cops noted in the docs that Willis requested an investigation and wanted to press charges. So far, though, no arrests have been made.”
Willis was playing his 18th NBA season when he finally won his first championship with the Spurs. He played 71 games — primarily as a reserve — during the 2002-03 regular season before averaging 2.6 points and about five minutes per game during the playoff run.
The 60-year-old last played in the NBA in 2007, making five appearances for the Dallas Mavericks to cap his career at 1,424 regular season games played, which ranks in the top 10 in league history.
A first-round pick (No. 11 overall) by the Atlanta Hawks in the 1984 NBA Draft out of Michigan State University, Willis averaged 12.1 points and 8.4 rebounds per game in a career spent with eight teams. He also played in the 1992 NBA All-Star Game.
The 2003 NBA championship was the second won by the Spurs during a stretch when they won four titles from 1999 to 2007. Willis’ championship teammates included Tim Duncan, David Robinson, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Stephen Jackson, Steve Kerr and Bruce Bowen, with Gregg Popovich as the head coach.
It was not revealed whose jerseys were stolen in the robbery. The news comes with Parker and Popovich being enshrined into the Hall of Fame this weekend.
The Spurs went 60-22 during the 2002-03 regular season and eliminated the Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers and Mavericks in the playoffs before defeating the New Jersey Nets in six games in the 2003 NBA Finals.
Duncan was named Finals MVP after averaging 24.2 points and 17.0 rebounds per game. Willis played 22 total minutes in the series, appearing in five of the six games. In total, he scored eight points and grabbed nine rebounds. It was the only time he reached the NBA Finals.
The memories of that title run are likely among the best of Willis’ long and distinguished NBA career. It would be unfortunate if this latest circumstance were to cast a shadow on any of that.