The NBA's slogan: Legends are made in June could be Tim's calling card. He ranks 2nd all-time in post-season wins with 157. He ranks sixth in points (5,172), third in rebounds (2,859) and first in double-doubles (164) in postseason history. Again it's mind blowing to think he amassed these numbers quietly, and methodically. He approached the game like a job. He went to work, he clocked in, he mastered the mundane. He wasn't flashy, he was never boastful, he was consistent, dependable, he was Mr. Fundamental.
Duncan won the Wooden Award, NBA Rookie of the Year, NBA MVP, NBA Finals MVP and NBA All-Star Game MVP. Duncan, Larry Bird, and Michael Jordan are the only three in history to accomplish this sweep.
The Spurs won 1,072 regular-season games since drafting Duncan in 1997 season, 155 more than the closest team. Together Duncan and Popovich won all of the Spurs' NBA titles. Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili won 575 regular-season games together, the most by a trio in NBA history. Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili registered 126 career playoff wins together, also the most in NBA history by a trio. Magic Johnson, Michael Cooper, and Abdul-Jabbar, who won 110 playoff games together hold down the number two spot.
It's certain the NBA will have more stars, some might even shine brighter than Mr. Fundamental. But few if any will have the impact on the fundamentals of the game, few will be as consistent. and looking into the horizon only 1 player seems ready to take on the cape of humility Duncan wore. Ironically it's Kawhi Leonard. There was a time when everyone wanted to be like Mike. NBA players can't wait for the comparisons to Jordan to begin, today's rookies live to fill Kobe's shoes or be compared to LeBron. Something tells me the highest compliment you could pay to Leonard is that he plays the game like Duncan did, quietly, impressive.
There was a time when everyone wanted to be like Mike. NBA players can't wait for the comparisons to Jordan to begin, today's rookies live to fill Kobe's shoes or be compared to LeBron. It's easy to imagine the highest compliment one could pay to Leonard is that he plays the game like Duncan did, quietly, impressive. Duncan is certain to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Hopefully, he'll say a few words at his induction ceremony, but don't be surprised if Gregg Popovich is standing at another podium 4 years from now slightly choked up thanking Timmie for all he's done. Thanks for the memories Duncan, thank you for your consistency, humble spirit, and showing a generation of children what true greatness and class looks like.
San Antonio Spurs. (2016, July 12). TIm Duncan A Career Retrospective. Retrieved July 12, 2016, from nba.com: http://www.nba.com/spurs/tim-duncan-career-retrospective/
Wright, M. C. (2016, July 12). Gregg Popovich bids emotional farewell to 'irreplaceable' Tim Duncan. Retrieved July 12, 2016, from espn.go.com: http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/17024283/spurs-gregg-popovich-bids-emotional-farewell-irreplaceable-tim-duncan