Twenty minutes into the Sunday morning practice at the Methodist Training Center, Bob McNair strolled casually down the sideline, stopped a few yards from the only 7-foot tall human on the premises, and without looking in his direction said "Has anybody seen a David Robinson around here?"
There was laughter from the former San Antonio Spurs center, laughter from the Texans chairman and CEO, and laughter from Robinson's two teenage sons. Once it subsided, McNair welcomed Robinson to the practices and thanked the U.S. Naval Academy graduate for attending, but more importantly, for everything he'd done in an illustrious career. The admiration for the man nicknamed "The Admiral" wasn't exclusive to McNair.
"I have a great respect for him," head coach Gary Kubiak said after practice. "What a great player, but what a tremendous human being. I think that speaks for itself."
Kubiak shared a few moments with the Robinsons once practice concluded, before Robinson greeted a steady stream of Texans players who wanted to brush up against the original Olympic Dream Teamer.
The Robinsons drove in Sunday morning from San Antonio, and the 1995 NBA MVP explained why.
"My son is a football player, so I'm trying to get him some exposure to excellence," Robinson said. "This was certainly an eye-opening day for him watching how these receivers and these d-backs go at it and how the game is played so tight."
Robinson said he met Chick Harris recently during a golf outing, and was invited by the running backs coach to a practice. The Admiral jumped at the offer, and enjoyed the time with his new favorite team.
"It was great," Robinson said. "Obviously they had a great year last year and really they just needed to get over the hump a little bit. It's a great group of guys. Physically they look good. I think they'll be just as strong as they were last year."
Robinson's wife didn't make the trip, but she was definitely on the 3-time Olympian's mind.
"I'm trying to figure out what team I want to root for because my wife is from Chicago so she's a Bears fan. So every year I've been picking different teams but this year I'm going to be a Texans (fan). I have a (David) Carr jersey at home from a couple years ago but now I'm going to have to get another jersey and be a Texans fan," Robinson said.
Defensive end J.J. Watt was one of the first players to greet Robinson after practice, and he was honored to be in the presence of someone so accomplished.
"It's very, very cool to see a guy like that at our practice," Watt said. "Just said thanks for coming out and showing your support."
Rookie wideout DeVier Posey was also excited to meet The Admiral, and was a bit surprised at Robinson's height.
"I didn't know he was that tall," Posey said. "Just to see him in person, it was an honor for me to meet him."
The parade of players continued on for Robinson, and he patiently took photos and shook hands with every Texan that came his way. Ultimately, he thought it was an honor to be honored by fellow pro athletes.
"It's phenomenal," Robinson said. "They were very respectful and great guys and to see that they think highly of me is a wonderful blessing."