Today, Tim Duncan announced that he would be retiring from the game of basketball. It marks the end of one of the greatest careers that the game has seen. Duncan, considered by most to be the greatest power forward of all-time, has accomplished a lot in his 19 year career, leading the Spurs to one of the best stretches in sports history, making the playoffs every year he wore a Spurs jersey. In honor of Timmy D’s retirement, let’s look back on the top 5 moments in his illustrious career.
5. Tim Duncan Wins Title in his Second Year (1999); Wins Finals MVP
Tim Duncan had an effect on the Spurs very early in his career. Playing along side legendary center, David Robinson, Tim Duncan was able to lead the Spurs to the franchises first NBA title in only his second year in the league. Duncan averaged 27.4 ppg, and 14 rpg in the series, leading the Spurs to a 4-1 victory against the New York Knicks. He scored 31 in the series clincher, earning him the finals MVP award.
4. Tim Duncan is Clutch against the Suns (Game 1; 2008)
In the first round of 2008 playoffs the Suns were eager to avenge their loss to the Spurs the year prior. Nash’s Suns were always a challenge for the Spurs, but the then 32 year old Duncan would prove that he was still the best power forward in the game. Game 1 was nothing short of a dog fight, going into double-overtime. Duncan scored 40 points in the game, and also grabbed 15 rebounds. However, the highlight of the game, was his first 3 point field goal of the season. The shot came at the end of overtime sending the game into double-overtime, where the Spurs would eventually win.
3. Back-to-Back MVPs (2002, 2003)
The 2002 season is arguably Tim’s best season of his career. He averaged a career high 25.5 ppg, as well as 12.7 rpg, and 2.5 bpg. Tim Duncan was the best player in the game in 2002 and it earned him his first career MVP. Unfortunately the Lakers spoiled the Spurs championship hopes, but this still stands as Tim Duncan’s best season. He would come back from that lose however, and win another MVP in 2003, posting 23.3 ppg, 12.9 rpg, and 2.9 bpg, and going on to win his second NBA title.
2. The 2003 Finals
Tim Duncan had one of the most dominant NBA finals in the history of the game in 2003 against the New Jersey Nets. The Spurs won the series in 6 games, with Duncan leading the way. He averaged 24.2 ppg, 17 rpg, 5.3 bpg, and 5.3 apg leading the Spurs in each category. Tim blocked an NBA finals record 31 shots in the series, and had one of the most memorable Finals games in NBA history, finishing 2 blocks short of a quadruple double in the decisive game 6. He finished the game with 21 points, 20 rebounds, 10 assists, and 8 blocks.
1. Tim Duncan Wins a Title in 3 different decades
It had been 7 years since Tim Duncan had won his last title, and it looked as though his chances were running out. At the age of 38 Tim Duncan and the Spurs would avenge their loss to the Heat the previous year, and they would make a statement in doing so. They won the series 4-1, with the 38 year old Duncan averaging 15.4 ppg, and 10 rpg, and winning his 5th title. It also meant that Tim Duncan was the first player to start, and win championships in 3 different decades.