His name is synonymous with championships, defense, hustle, durability, and clutch 3-point shots for the San Antonio Spurs during their run to NBA glory during the 2000s.
A self-made player who wasn’t drafted out of Cal State-Fullerton, the 6-foot-7, 200-pound swingman played two years in France and had early stints with Miami, Boston, and Philadelphia. In his second stay with Miami, Bowen developed into a lock-down perimeter defender and improved his 3-point accuracy.
Signed by the Spurs, he became the glue of the team’s defense and a key contributor to the team’s three NBA titles during the decade (2003, 2005, 2007). Bowen was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive Team eight consecutive seasons, including first-team honors from 2004-08. That puts him in company with such elite swingmen as Scottie Pippen, Bobby Jones, John Havlicek, and Micheal Cooper.
From 2002 through2008, Bowen played in 500 consecutive games, a streak that prompted Sports Illustrated to name him the “Iron Man of the NBA.” In 2003, he led the NBA in 3-point shooting percentage (44.1) and finished his 13-year career at 39.3% on 2,082 3-pointers.
His NBA career regular-season averages: 6.1 points, 1.2 assists, 2.8 rebounds per game. Having overcome difficult family circumstances as a child, Bowen set up a scholarship foundation and is a two-time winner of the NBA Community Assist Award. After retiring, he joined ESPN as an NBA analyst. At Edison High, Bowen was North Yosemite League Player of the Year as a senior and led the Tigers to the Central Section title.
A two-time All-NorCal choice, he received a scholarship to CSU-Fullerton and was named first-team All-Big West his senior season, averaging 16.3 points a game for the Titans.