Tim Duncan has had one of the most successful NBA careers ever.
While stars like Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nowitzki, and Steve Nash may have received more attention during the 2000s, the unassuming assassin guided the San Antonio Spurs to a powerful dynasty that is unparalleled in NBA history.
While his lack of theatrics and calm manner frequently allowed him to slip under the radar, Duncan created one of the most individually dominant careers, both statistically and trophy-wise, and let his game speak for itself.
We take a look back at one of the most renowned careers in NBA history and the mind-blowing numbers that go with with it, as Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, and Kobe Bryant are all set to be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Memorial Hall of Fame in May, five years after Duncan retired.
Number 5: Winning an NBA Title
Duncan’s 19-year NBA career was marked by the Spurs’ incredible steadiness, and while they never won consecutive crowns, they did it with a total of five NBA titles, the first of which came in 1999 after Duncan had already won Rookie of the Year.
Since being drafted, no player has won more championships than he has (2003, 2005, 2007, and 2014). The only other players in that time period to win as many titles as Duncan are Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, and Robert Horry, each of whom has won five championships.
Three times (in 1999, 2003, and 2005), Duncan was voted NBA Finals Most Valuable Player. Only LeBron James (4) and Michael Jordan (5) have won more. Magic Johnson and Shaquille O’Neal also have three titles (6).
Duncan is the only player in NBA history to win a championship in each of the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s.
26.496, Which is a Lot of Points
Duncan, widely considered the best power player in NBA history, retired with 26,496 points in 19 seasons to rank 14th all-time. After Carmelo Anthony passed him in January of 2021, he fell to 15th all-time.
Like every one of his points came from his trademark bank shot, he was a monster in the paint.
When compared to the one-legged fadeaway that belongs to Nowitzki, the skyhook that belongs to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and the Dream Shake that belongs to Hakeem Olajuwon, the bank shot is Big Fundamental’s.
Duncan Scored 53 Points Once, Which was his Highest Total Ever.
In 2001, against the Dallas Mavericks, Duncan scored 50 points in a losing effort (126-123 in overtime).
Despite Steve Nash’s late 3-pointer giving the Mavericks the victory, Tim Duncan scored 53 points to lead the Spurs to victory. Duncan shot 19-of-28 from the field and 15-of-15 from the foul line. The 53 points he scored without attempting a 3-pointer were accompanied by 11 boards, 4 assists, and 3 blocks on the night.
This marked the highest point total for a Spurs player since David Robinson scored 71 in 1994. Later, both Tony Parker (at age 55 in 2008) and LaMarcus Aldridge (at age 56 in 2019) surpassed Duncan’s total.
15 – Defense is just as important as offence
Duncan’s contribution on the defensive end was just as critical to the Spurs’ success as his offensive prowess, but the former is more easily remembered.