One Thousand Games. Including the playoffs it’s 1170, but lets not talk playoffs so early in the season, despite the Spurs still on the winning path in their best start in franchise history (20-3). Lets talk, or better said, write and present some of the numbers from Tim Duncan’s amazing career, now in the midst of its 14th season.
By playing his 1000th game last night, Duncan became the 94th player in the history of the league to reach that milestone, tied with Glen Rice at 1000. At the pace he’s going at this season (still no missed games), Duncan should be with 1049 when we enter the playoffs, putting him at 73rd on the all-time list.
In terms of his place on the historical lists – Duncan has won two MVP awards, one of 12 players to win the award multiple times. He won it back to back in 2002 and 2003. He is 44th all time in minutes played (36,239), 24th all time in total rebounds (11,546), 11th all time in Blocks (2276) and 29th all time in points (20,949).
For the Spurs, Duncan is the franchise all time leader in Games, Minutes Played, Total Rebounds and Turnovers. He is second on the scoring list (behind George Gervin), but first if you don’t count the ABA days of the Spurs history. He is also second in blocks, way behind David Robinson.
Duncan has been to 12 All-Star games, one of 20 players to play that many (Kareem is the leader with 19). He has been nine times on the All-NBA first team and 8 times on the All-Defensive first team.
His career highs – 51 points against the Dallas Mavericks back in 2001-2002, 27 rebounds against Atlanta last season, twice dished out 11 assists, had an 8 steal game back in 1999-2000 and a 9 block game against Memphis in 2006-2007. Attempting only 139 three pointers throughout his career, Duncan never shot over two from long range in a single game and has never hit more than one three in a game. In fact, he has hit only 26 since 1997.
The most important stuff – The San Antonio Spurs have won 656 games with Duncan in the lineup, 65.6%, equal to 53 wins a season. They have never missed the playoffs since he’s been drafted from Wake Forest, and they’ve never won a title without him. He has four championship rings and three Finals MVP’s.
In my opinion, the best player of the previous decade and as posted just over a week ago, the greatest power forward in the history of the game. I don’t know how much he has left (13.4 points and 9.2 rebounds this season, the lowest in his career at both), but I do hope his career goes on a bit longer. He has tons more to give as a leader and his Basketball I.Q. And I would like to see him win another one. Make it a nice five rings to fit all the fingers on one hand.