The word Gentleman is defined as “A well-mannered and considerate man with high standards of proper behavior”. The same could be said for the leader of the San Antonio Spurs, Tim Duncan.
Attending Wake Forest for College, Duncan became the most dominating player in Demon Deacons and NCAA history. Duncan had a slow start to his college career going scoreless in his very first game. As the year progressed, Duncan became more comfortable with his game it was clear that he had special abilities. Duncan refused to enter the NBA early and remained in college for all 4 years, eventually earning his Psychology degree. Through his 4 years at Wake Forest, Duncan drove The Demon Deacons deep into the NCAA Final Four tournament year after year. Duncan earned numerous accolades and awards while in college including: 2-time All ACC Player of the Year, 3-time College Defensive Player of the Year, All-Acc 1st Team in 1995 + 1997 as well as the MVP of the 1996 ACC Tournament. Duncan ended up 2nd all-time in shot blocking in the NCAA trailing only Adonal Foyle. After his 4 years at Wake Forest were up, it was time for Duncan to take his talents to the big show.
Duncan was drafted 1st overall by the San Antonio Spurs in 1997. Duncan has dominated the low post like no other has. He’s always been known as a silent assassin on the inside that has gone about his business in a most professional manner. Nicknamed “The Big Fundamental”, Duncan has become synonymous with a functional style of play where he illustrates the skills necessary to be a dominant player in a league filled with 7 footers.
The San Antonio Spurs were coming off of a 20-62 record in the 1996-1997 season. Their All-Star Center David Robinson had been injured all season and all hope was lost deep in the heart of Texas. With the selection of Duncan, the team’s fortunes were reversed with one lucky ping-pong ball at the Draft Lottery. Duncan and Robinson quickly became a dangerous frontcourt as they were quickly nicknamed the “Twin Towers”. If you were lucky enough to have ever watched the two of them play together you would have witnessed poetry in motion as each of them played perfectly off of each other. They played in perfect tandem as one would move out for a jumper as the other stayed in the post and vice versa. After his rookie season, it was clear that Duncan was going to be a force in the league for years to come. Duncan averaged 21.1/ppg, 11.9/rpg, 2.7/ast and 2.5/blks in his rookie season becoming the unanimous choice for the Rookie of the Year Award.
Throughout his career, Duncan has always been known as an extremely fundamental and boring champion. He goes about his business and never seems to let his emotions get out of hand. Since his college days, Duncan has always been a champion and has racked up hardware that most players dream of. Duncan is a 2-time NBA MVP who has won 4 NBA Championships, and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. The Spurs are still a model franchise. Tim Duncan continues to anchor the low post and still dominates his opponents. The list of awards that he has won in his NBA career are evidence of how successful he has been:
- 2-Time MVP
- 4-Time NBA Champion
- 3-Time NBA Finals MVP
- NBA Rookie of the Year
- All NBA Rookie Team
- 13 All-NBA Team
- 13 All-Defensive Teams
- Sports Illustrated “Player of the Decade”
Playing in his 14th NBA season, Duncan has had his minutes per game lowered in order to preserve the Spurs All-Star. His numbers remain consistent and he still remains a force to be reckoned with. Standing 6’11 and weighing over 250lbs, Tim Duncan will forever be known as a gentle giant and one of the greatest big men to have ever played the game of basketball.