Duncan Does What Only He Can

VIDEO: Tim Duncan delivers the dagger to the Hawks

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Years from now, when folks are cruising through the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and stumble upon Tim Duncan‘s name, I hope they realize exactly what a unique NBA creature he was.

San Antonio’s rock throughout the Spurs’ run as one of the best franchises in all of sports, Duncan’s skill set separated him from the pack of the greatest power forwards and big men who came before, during and probably after his playing days.

You saw him last night, at 37 and into his 17th season of his glorious grind, running off of a screen with the game on the line against the Hawks as Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer,  who spent 19 years with the Spurs, knew exactly what was coming. There he was knocking down a shot that players of his ilk (Karl Malone, Kevin McHale, Charles Barkley, etc.) would have struggled to make, had anyone even thought of running a play like that for them at a similar late stage of their Hall of Fame careers.

There is a reason, even with Duncan shooting a career-worst 44 percent this season, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich doesn’t hesitate to draw up a game-winning play for the most fundamentally sound big man ever. There’s a reason he opts for Duncan over the likes of All Stars (and fellow future Hall of Famers) Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili in these instances that require a sure thing.

Only in the Land of Duncan does this happen. He made history, of course, Monday night, becoming the oldest player to record a 20-point, 20-rebound game since the league began recording rebounds. And yet he’ll be overshadowed this morning by flashier highlights from games around the league (that Indiana-Portland game was a showcase of young up-and-coming talent and teams).

Thank your lucky stars that all of today’s technology will allow us to enjoy Duncan’s brilliance for years to come, long after has left the stage and his exploits have faded from the memory of not only his generation, but those that follow.

He is just now cranking up his production this season. He got off to a slow start — it’s allowable for a player with his long list of accomplishments — but is averaging a much more Duncan-like 16.6 points (on 56 percent shooting) and 10.2 rebounds over his past five games.

“I feel a lot healthier now,” Duncan told reporters after the win over the Hawks. “For a while there, I was dealing with some stuff, but now my body is feeling good and I’m starting to get my legs underneath me.”

When healthy, he is still capable of dominating the competition.

Duncan showed us during the Spurs’ run to The Finals last year that he still had plenty left in his tank. His reign as the league’s true big man monarch has not ended … not officially.

VIDEO: Tim Duncan talks about his shot to beat the Hawks


  1. Random Fans says:

    I’m having O when i saw Timmy record 20-20
    and multi O when he hits the game winning shot…

  2. Prosper Fish says:

    I think Timmy D still can play with until the age of 55

  3. t-bone says:

    Not to take anything from Duncan but I think he is overrated. People forget how great those stars of 90’s were. Ewing dropped 37 at age 36 against a prime Alonzo in the playoffs game 7 and was averaging 21-11 and 3 blocks at 37. Malone dropped 40 something in the playoffs also had a triple double at age 40 or 41 and now you guys talk Malone wouldn’t be able to hit a game winner, that’s just nonsense folks…

  4. jwtam says:

    Duncan may be one of the best PF in NBA history, but some people still recognize him as the most underrated player for more than a decade.

  5. Roosevelt says:

    This guy is the reason I started watching basketball. He made it worthwhile. He displays the rarest of the rare on the court: The best fundamental skills and most humble human being. I know this year he’ll get the ring.

  6. JD says:

    Patriarch would be more appropriate I would think, Sekou.

  7. Ch3f21 says:

    Since 99 I have been a proud Spurs fan. After last years disappointment it is a beautiful sight to see the squad come out this season and ball hard. I want a win against Indiana Friday to really make a statement. Tim Duncan the Greatest PF to ever play the game we know, but Kawi needs to be more aggressive if we are going to win a title this year regardless of how good Timmy continues to be in time.

  8. ianzki says:

    been a fan of timmy since ’99 and im just 26 yrs old. He is no doubt the greatest PF of all time. I would like to see his precision bank shot again though,

  9. okc2014 says:

    I have a lot of respect for Tim Duncan and the Spurs, our rivals. See you in the Western Conference Finals.

  10. paolo says:

    The greatest PF ever!!! thank u timmy =)

  11. Keyrein says:

    Philippines loves Tim Duncan! Greatest PF ever!

  12. Best PF ever…… Mr. Consistency….

  13. Lakers Fisher says:

    I remember the last time Duncan hit the “game winner” with .4 left on the clock. It wasn’t the game winner thanks to Fisher.

  14. wyorose11 says:

    Finally…..some respect!!!!!

  15. dustydreamnz says:

    One thing I’ve learnt is you never ever write off the Spurs. I thought Duncan was past his best though it seems like he was dealing with niggles. The team was winning without him contributing much, if he finds consistency they will be right in the thick of the finals.

  16. Raptors fan says:

    is it just me or does timmy have more skills and better shooting, better moves than ever in his career?

  17. freestyle says:

    Thanks Timmy for turning back to clock. I would love for you to do your thing for another century but we can’t deny father time. Go for number 5..

  18. Andrea says:

    Tim Duncan is easily one of my favorite players ever. Athletes like him who are extremely talented with the very likable personality to boot are practically nonexistent. As a Lakers fan who loves the rivalry between the Lakers and the Spurs, I have nothing but respect for Duncan and the entire organization.

  19. glennrobinsonbigdog13 says:

    Had a chance to practice w Duncan at the trials for the McDonalds when were like 16 dude had the same game he has now… he has not changed one bit!

  20. KratosRage says:

    Why Timmy is great?…he makes his position look easy. A lot of PF before and now must see how Timmy lastly through out these years. Timmy doesn’t look for the spotlight….the spotlight looks for him that’s why for me…he’s the greatest PF

  21. Franz says:

    Tim Duncan vs. Karl Malone. I’ll take the man with 4 championship rings (soon to be 5).

  22. tomdriesen says:

    You know I hope the heat 3 peat.
    But If they don’t let them fall to the spurs.
    Last years finals were the best. I felt bad for him in game 7 (that lay up and tip in that wouldn’t fall.)
    Duncan is htere with Charles Barkley, dr J, He could well be the best PF ever.
    I like him no being flashy but so fundamentaly sound.

    Yes seckou it will take years to truely apriciate this kind of greatness, this kind of consistency.

  23. SPEEDY CEVICHE says:

    Mr. TIM DUNCAN !!!!

  24. Teid says:

    Boston Fan says he is the best PF ever? Really? Ever heard about a guy named Kevin McHale? Duncan is beast though! No doubt!

  25. Mike says:

    I remember someone referring to Duncan as a piece of reinforced steel in a league that is a treasure chest of gold, silver, rubies and saphires. One is strong, sturdy and reliable, while the others are shiny, glamorous and pleasing to the eye. But which one could you most easily live without?

  26. Kyle Cromorty says:

    The BIG fundamental! I would take Karl Malone over Timmy though…I’m just saying

    • Mike says:

      Really need to take that Stockton guy into account when nominating the Mailman as your #1 PF

    • nastybrawler says:

      go for it…i would take timmy over karl…he can play both forward and center
      versatility over power—take note, he is known as the Best Power Forward of All Time.
      i rest my case!!!

    • bruiser brody says:

      You would remain ringless, like Karl.

    • bruiser brody says:

      If the choice would be yours, you would be ringless like Karl. Ijs.

    • 36yrfan says:

      ….remember his plays against I. Thomas and D. Robinson ???? That shows who the ‘mailman’ was/is…….. for from the greatest pf ever…… just sayin.

    • SuperSonic says:

      Shawn Kemp used to keep Karl Malone under control whenever Seattle and Utah matched up. Malone would score a few more points but take a lot more shots to get there. Charles Barkley was good but dropped off very quickly towards the end of his career. Have a look at the Shaqtin a Fool where Kenny Smith provides commentary. Barkley was way out of shape at the end. Tim Duncan is still in good shape.

      Tim Duncan’s record speaks for itself. He is one of the best at his position. I can’t think of a better power forward in the last 20 years.

  27. Unkle Daddy says:

    He’s been my guy since he came in the league and I’ve loved him a little more every year, when he does finally say good bye (which he still out plays guys 10+ years younger than him) I feel a piece of basketball history will leave with him, along with a piece of myself. My Spurs champs this year! Fingers crossed.

  28. ithinkimbleeding says:

    not sure why but that made me slightly teary eyed. Love to see Duncan still doing well. One of the last of the old greats. Will be sad to see him go.

  29. luckyfri says:

    i love the spurs. i always did. duncan still is good, but he really looks slow and in my opinion all the young big men should think about their game. guys should be lucky that he wasnt born in a webber or griffin body.

  30. JoeRocker says:

    Duncan is great, no doubt about that, but player of his ilk would have struggled to make that shot at his age? At 36 Karl Malone was named MVP and at 37 he was still averaging 25,5 and 9,5, working as the first option in the Jazz’s offense. Now you tell me who is better at 37. Barkley at the same age was stuggling more, but he was still enough agile and a very good shooter from mid-range. As for McHale, he couldnt have run that play in his prime as he was more of a post player, so it’s pointless. It’s ok celebrating Duncan, but dont belittle the great power forwards of the past like a dummy.

    • Unkle Daddy says:

      Malone had to average those numbers he had very little help (so could Duncan if he had to). Not saying he wasn’t great, I believe he is still second best. Malone zero rings.

      • Kome the Black Dumba says:

        You have to consider those 80s great star like Charles, Ewing, Miller, Malone all doesn`t have a ring due to one reason. MJ, he is that good! if he didn`t retired the first time maybe hakeem won`t have one as well.

    • 36yrfan says:

      both with zero rings….

  31. Ram says:

    The best ever!!! One more try Old Spurs!!!

  32. Bill says:

    Greatest Power Forward ever, it can’t be oversaid

  33. WAMBO says:

    GO SPURS GO! Greatest Power Forward to every play and not just SA that loves him but the entire state of Texas!


  34. Miguel Bordalo says:

    Duncan is the greatest power foward ever, but Chuck not hiting that?!? Not drawing plays for him in that situation? I think people forget what a incredible player Chuck was…

    • ?????? says:

      it was contextualized as at a late stage in their career. chuck definitely could have made a play like that in his prime, but he didn’t even last 17 years, and by the end, he could barely move properly.

  35. Sy says:

    As a Lakers fan, I’ve hated what he’s done to them. However, he is the greatest PF ever.

  36. Adam Alotaibi says:

    Best PF EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Hope he gets another ring!

  37. Elray says:

    Best PF of all-time

  38. Game Time says:

    I agree. He is the best PF in NBA history. I was thinking the Spurs wouldn’t have another run left in them but I can see that this entire team is hungry.

  39. YJ says:

    Great article. Timmy is not just the greatest PF of all time, but one of the humblest and most unselfish basketball star of all time. Great to see him get some love.

  40. alemarino84 says:

    By a crazy fan of KG……..much respect!!!

  41. Spurs Fan says:

    Awesome article. I’m from the USVI and love seeing Duncan getting some much deserved publicity.

  42. C says:

    Great piece Sekou!