David Robinson wants more out of life than winning basketball games. Anyone who has a problem with that is full of snippy.
SOFT TOUCH: Robinson has helped start a school for low-income kids.
Photograph by John Dyer

TOWARD THE END OF A TWO-AND-A-HALF-HOUR PRACTICE, David Robinson was loose and animated. The 36-year-old center for the San Antonio Spurs stutter-stepped toward the free throw line, took a pass from a coach, and fired off a fifteen-foot jump shot. He grimaced as the ball bounced high off the front of the rim, then repeated the drill and let another shot fly. The ball, however, continued its independent streak, this time hitting the rim once, then twice, before falling to the floor. Robinson, more playful than serious, swung his arm in frustration and let loose with the s-word. Well, it wasn’t that s-word. You would have had to cover your kids’ ears only if you didn’t want them to hear “Oh, snippy.”

When I asked him about that curious word choice later in the day, he threw back

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