A five-time NBA champion, three-time Finals MVP and two-time NBA MVP, Tim Duncan is retiring with an endless list of achievements, awards, and plenty of high ranking statistical milestones, blending in with the best of the best in NBA history.
- Duncan played in 1392 regular season games, 7th all-time. He played every game in a season just twice in his career: The first two seasons
- With 47,638 minutes played, he’s 10th on the all-time list, his most coming in the 2001-2002 season, finishing second in the NBA with 40.6 per game
- With 15,091 rebounds (10.8 per game), Duncan is sixth on the all-time list. In 2001-2002 he led the NBA in total rebounds with 12.7 per game. He averaged more than 10 rebounds per game, therefore a double double average, for the first 13 seasons of his NBA career
- With 3020 career blocks, he’s fifth on the all-time list (2.2 per game). He averaged more than 2 blocks per game 11 times in his career, including for the first 10 seasons of his NBA career
- With 26,496 points, Duncan is 14th on the all-time list, averaging 19.03 per game. He averaged 20 points per game or better in nine of his first 10 seasons, including a career best 25.5 points per game in the 2001-2002 season
- Duncan is ranked third in NBA history with a 95.6 defensive rating, making him arguably the best defensive player ever, or at least since Bill Russell
- He’s sixth in NBA history in win shares with 206.4, and 2nd in NBA history with 106.3 defensive wins shares
- His VORP (Value of Replacement Player) is 89.3, sixth best in NBA history
- Another interesting but subjective ration is B/R ELO rating. Duncan is 4th on the all-time list by that measurement, but it does have a popularity contest measure to it
Conclusion? We’re going to argue about whether Duncan is one of the best centers of all-time or simply the best power forward ever. He also might be the most influential big man (or NBA player in general) of the last 20 years, and is a prime candidate for best defensive player of the last 40 or 50 years, if not ever. In Duncan’s case, like with a lot of NBA greats who end up in the Hall of Fame and more importantly, in everyone’s memories, the numbers don’t tell the whole story.