Tim Duncan

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Basketball player
Tim Duncan
Tim Duncan
Player information
Full name Timothy Theodore Duncan
Nickname The Big Fundamental
birthday 25th April 1976 (age 44)
place of birth Christiansted , US Virgin Islands
size 211 cm
Weight 113 kg
position Power Forward / Center
college Wake Forest
NBA draft 1997 , 1st pick, San Antonio Spurs
Clubs as active
1997-2016 San Antonio SpursUnited StatesUnited States
National team
1999-2004 United StatesUnited States United States 28 games
Clubs as coaches
2019– San Antonio Spurs (Assistant) 0000 United StatesUnited States

Timothy Theodore Duncan (born April 25, 1976 in Christiansted , US Virgin Islands ) is an American basketball coach and former player.

From 1997 to 2016 Duncan played in the NBA for the San Antonio Spurs . The 2.11 m tall Power Forward / Center won five NBA championships with the Spurs (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014). In the first three championships he was honored as the MVP of the final series. In addition, he was voted MVP of the main round twice and stood in 15 NBA All-Star Games , 15 All-NBA Teams and 15 NBA All-Defensive Teams . He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 2020 .


School and university time

Like his sister Tricia, who took part in the Olympic Games in Seoul (1988) for the US Virgin Islands , Duncan initially aspired to a career as a swimmer. When Hurricane Hugo destroyed the only large swimming pool on Saint Croix in September 1989 , training was moved to the open sea. The talented Duncan, afraid of sharks, then turned to basketball. Although he played exceptionally well, no college coach noticed Duncan on his remote island. Only Wake Forest University in North Carolina offered him a scholarship, and only because the then NBA player Chris King Duncan happened to see Duncan playing and told his old college coach about it.

From the beginning Duncan was able to convince with the Demon Deacons and was one of the best players in the relatively strong Atlantic Coast Conference . Duncan outclassed Maryland's Joe Smith , who was in the same year as Duncan and was selected first in the 1995 NBA Draft . Duncan, on the other hand, chose to stay in college. Also in 1996 , when he had the chance to be voted first in the draft ahead of Allen Iverson . That same year he was voted “Player of the Year” in the ACC, and also the following year. He is one of the few players who has won this award multiple times. Wake Forest withdrew jersey number 21 in Duncan's honor. He quit college as the best rebounder in NCAA history (that record wasn't broken until 2011 by Kenneth Faried ).


His graduation from college was set for 1997, and thus his participation in the 1997 NBA Draft . After winning the draft lottery, the San Antonio Spurs chose Duncan first. Since the Spurs already had a strong center with David Robinson , the duo Robinson / Duncan was called the Twin Towers (German: Zwillingstürme), based on the earlier Twin Towers of the Houston Rockets, Hakeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson .

Duncan and the Spurs visit the White House after winning the 2003 final

Even in his first NBA season, Duncan set several records. For one, he was the first NBA player to receive every possible award for “Rookie of the Month”. On the other hand, he was elected to the All-NBA team after the season , the selection of the five best players in the league, which made him the youngest winner of this award at the age of 22 (this mark was later undercut by LeBron James ). Even in the MVP election, he got quite a few votes and ended up in fifth place.

In Duncan's second season, the 1998/99 NBA lockout fell . The season finally took place, albeit shortened to 50 games. In the playoffs, the Spurs defeated the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers , each 4-0, before beating the New York Knicks 4-1 in the final . For the Spurs it was the first championship title in the club's history. As the second youngest player after Magic Johnson , Duncan was named MVP of the final series .

In the 1999/2000 season, the Spurs could not defend their title, but lost in the first round against the Phoenix Suns , also because Duncan was injured. In 2000 Duncan's contract with the Spurs ran out, after which he was hotly courted by numerous NBA teams. At the urging of David Robinson, however, he stayed with the Spurs. In the 2000/01 season, the Spurs lost 4-0 to the Lakers, who were 2001 NBA champions after an extraordinary run of 15-1 victories. In 2002 the Spurs lost again with Duncan against the Lakers, this time with 1: 4. However, Duncan was named the league's MVP for the first time this season, making him one of the youngest winners of this trophy (after Wilt Chamberlain and Wes Unseld ).

Tim Duncan (# 21), defended by Ben Wallace (# 3), in the 2005/06 NBA season .

In the 2003 playoffs, the Spurs managed to beat the Lakers for the first time since 1999. After the Dallas Mavericks had beaten in the Conference final series, they defeated the New Jersey Nets to Jason Kidd with 2: 4. Again Duncan was named MVP of the season and the final series. In the decisive sixth game of the final series, Duncan scored almost a so-called " quadruple double " (two-digit values ​​in four statistical categories) with 21 points, 20 rebounds, 10 assists and 8 blocks and also set a record for blocks in a series of endings. Duncan's team-mate Robinson ended his career after this triumph, thus ending the era of the Texas “twin towers”. He and Duncan were both named Athlete of the Year 2003 by Sports Illustrated magazine for winning the title together .

As a replacement for Robinson, the Spurs brought the Slovenian Radoslav Nesterovič for the next season . In 2004 the Lakers, reinforced with Karl Malone and Gary Payton , took revenge. After a 4-2 win over Spurs, they moved into the final.

After the move from Shaquille O'Neal to Miami, the Lakers fell out as favorites in the West during the 2004/05 season and thus Duncan's Spurs were considered a candidate for the title. After relatively easy wins against the Seattle SuperSonics and Phoenix Suns, the Spurs moved into the final for the third time in six years. After seven games they had beaten the Detroit Pistons 4-3. Duncan was named the MVP of the final series for the third time. After record holder Michael Jordan (six times), Duncan is tied with Magic Johnson (three times), Shaquille O'Neal (three times) and LeBron James (three times) in this regard .

During the 2005-06 NBA season, Duncan suffered from heel spurs for most of the season , causing a drop in his performance. The Spurs reached the Western Conference semifinals and had to face Dirk Nowitzki's Dallas Mavericks . Duncan was superior to his opponent with 32.2 to 27.1 points per game, but when it was 3-3 after six games, Duncan became a tragic figure. Although he scored 39 points in the seventh and decisive game, he missed six of seven throws in extra time and the Spurs had to admit defeat to the Texan opponent. The following season, the Spurs were again among the favorites for the championship and made it to the playoffs again. In the first round they were able to prevail after five games against the Denver Nuggets , in the second round after six games against the Phoenix Suns and in the third round after five games against the Utah Jazz . In the final series, the Cleveland Cavaliers around superstar LeBron James were waiting for them, but the Spurs made short work of them. With four superior victories, the Spurs clearly prevailed and secured the championship. This time, for the first time, Duncan had to hand over the MVP title of the final series to another player, his teammate Tony Parker . Duncan described this as the best of the four championships he could win. His former teammate, Spurs legend David Robinson, called the four titles the "Tim Duncan era" and coach Gregg Popovich also praised Duncan.

Duncan throws over Andrew Bynum of the LA Lakers

In the 2007/08 NBA season, Duncan brought his usual performance of just under 20 points and 10 rebounds per game and led his team to 56 wins in 82 games. In the first round of the playoff they had to play again against the Suns , who had thrown the Spurs in three of the last four seasons in the finals from the race. This season, however, Phoenix had strengthened by signing Shaquille O'Neal, who was brought in specifically to lead the Suns through the playoffs. Already in the first game of the series Duncan was challenged and countered with 40 points and one of his rare three-point throws, which sent the game into the second overtime. In the end, the Spurs were able to win this game and later in the series. In the second round, the Spurs had major difficulties against the New Orleans Hornets and their leader Chris Paul , but were able to prevail after seven games. In the Western Conference Finals, however, it was over for San Antonio: The Los Angeles Lakers were simply too strong and prevailed against the Texans after five games. The following season Duncan started strong, but had to back off a little from the middle of the season due to injury. Despite these problems and the failure of Ginobili , the Spurs managed to qualify for the playoffs. In the first round they were kicked out of the race by the Mavericks after just five games . In 2009/10, Spurs got Richard Jefferson , Antonio McDyess , Theo Ratliff, DeJuan Blair and Keith Bogans. Despite his advancing age, Duncan was still good for 20 points and 10 rebounds per game and was selected on the starting line-up of the Western Conference team for the 2010 NBA All-Star Game. This year Duncan and his team prevailed in the first playoff round after six games against the Mavericks , but afterwards they had to admit defeat to the Suns after four games in the second round .

In the 2010/11 NBA season, the Spurs were able to win 42 of the first 50 games and thus had the sixth-best start to the season in the history of the NBA (after 50 games). In the 2012/13 season, the Spurs made it into the NBA finals again, but had to admit defeat in the decisive seventh game of the Miami Heat. This was Duncan's first career defeat in the final.

Duncan during the 2011 NBA All-Star Games

The 2013/14 season ended the Spurs with the best record of the NBA main round (62:20). After playoff successes over the Dallas Mavericks (4: 3), Portland Trail Blazers (4: 1) and Oklahoma City Thunder (4: 2), the Spurs reached the NBA finals for the sixth time in Duncan's career. There they met the defending champion, the Miami Heat. Unlike last year, the Spurs prevailed this time and Duncan was able to celebrate the fifth title win of his NBA career. After the season he was honored with the Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award as a flagship teammate.

In the 2014/15 season, however, Duncan retired with the Spurs in the first playoff round against the Los Angeles Clippers . After the playoff, his contract ran out and there was speculation that Duncan's career would end. However, he signed a two-year deal with the Spurs on July 9, 2015, which marked his 19th NBA season with the Texans.

In his 1311th NBA main round game, he succeeded for the first time no hit from the field (in eight attempts). Only four other players managed at least one hit from the field in more than 1000 games in a row: Hakeem Olajuwon (1.075, 1984-1999), Michael Jordan (1.072, 1984-2003, all games), Kevin Garnett (1.066, 1996-2010 ) and Alex English (1,043, 1977-1990). In his 1360th main round game, he did not score a single point for the first time. He is the front runner in this regard, ahead of Karl Malone, who scored at least one point in each of the first 1,356 games of his NBA career (1985-2002). Only Jordan managed at least one point in each of his 1072 games (minimum 1000 games).

With the Spurs' victory at Utah Jazz on April 5, 2016, Duncan achieved the 1,000th NBA main round victory of his career, becoming only the third player to succeed after Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1074) and Robert Parish (1014). At the same time he had overtaken John Stockton (953) with the most wins for the same team.

Tim Duncan ended his career on July 11, 2016.

In recognition of his achievements, Duncan's jersey number, 21, is no longer awarded by the Spurs. The jersey was hung under the ceiling after the NBA game against the New Orleans Pelicans on December 18, 2016. This makes him the eighth San Antonio Spurs player whose number is no longer assigned.


In July 2019, Duncan was hired by the San Antonio Spurs as an assistant coach and thus became a member of Gregg Popovich's staff.


  • 5 × NBA championships : 1999 , 2003 , 2005 , 2007 , 2014
  • 3 × NBA Finals MVP : 1999 , 2003 , 2005
  • 2 × NBA MVP : 2002 , 2003
  • 1 × NBA All-Star Game MVP : 2000
  • 15 × NBA All-Star : 1998, 2000–2011, 2013, 2015
  • 15 × All-NBA team
    • 10 × 1st team: 1998–2005, 2007, 2013
    • 3 × 2nd Team: 2006, 2008, 2009
    • 2 × 3rd Team: 2010, 2015
  • 15 × NBA All-Defensive Team
    • 8 × 1st team: 1999–2003, 2005, 2007, 2008
    • 7 × 2nd Team: 1998, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2015
  • NBA All-Rookie First Team : 1998
  • NBA Rookie of the Year : 1998
  • 1 × Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award : 2015

Style of play

Duncan shooting a free throw
Duncan Free Throw (2010)

In each of his first 13 NBA years, Duncan was on both the All-NBA team and the All-Defensive team (sole record). He wasn't nearly as spectacular as, for example, Kobe Bryant or LeBron James , but knew how to convince with his superbly trained basics and his high level of game intelligence. His throw with board from the middle distance and his passing skills were particularly outstanding. Because of his very good basketball fundamentals, his long-time competitor Shaquille O'Neal gave him the nickname "The Big Fundamental". Tim Duncan is considered one of the best players in NBA history and by many experts and fans as the best power forward of all time.

His coach at Spurs, Gregg Popovich, once said of his protégé: “You never saw Timmy hit his chest like he was the first person to dunk a basketball like some other players do nowadays to do. He didn't point to the sky, he just played. We'd seen it for so long that it was almost commonplace. But it's so special that you have to remember it. "


Regular season

  • 26,226 points (14th in the all-time NBA ranking)
  • 14,869 rebounds (7th in the all-time NBA rankings)
    • 840 double doubles for points and rebounds (1st place in the all-time NBA rankings)
  • 2,982 blocks (5th place in the all-time NBA rankings)
  • 4,147 assists
  • 1,000 steals
  • 1,358 games (10th in the all-time NBA rankings)


  • 5,113 points (5th place in the all-time NBA ranking)
  • 2,810 rebounds (3rd place in the all-time NBA rankings)
  • 555 blocks (1st place in the all-time NBA rankings)
  • 749 assists (27th in the all-time NBA rankings)
  • 166 steals (37th in the all-time NBA rankings)
  • 241 games (3rd place in the all-time NBA rankings)
  • 9,152 minutes of play (NBA record)


With the San Antonio Spurs, Tim Duncan has always won at least 50 season games in his 18 seasons so far (except in the shortened 1998/99 season) and reached the play-offs every year.

See also


  • André Voigt: Tim Duncan. Theory of Evolution , in: Five 11-2003, pp. 12-16.

Web links

Commons : Tim Duncan  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. usabasketball.com - All-Time USA Basketball Men's Roster // D ( Memento of the original from August 28, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.usabasketball.com
  2. ^ A b Tim Duncan: Statistics
  3. Sport1.de: Hall of Fame: NBA stars Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan & Kevin Garnett are accepted. Retrieved April 18, 2020 .
  4. Mavs outlast Spurs
  5. NBA Finals 2007
  6. a b 4th NBA Championship
  7. ^ NBA Playoffs 2008: Game 1 against the Suns
  8. NBA Playoffs 2008: Lakers Eliminate Spurs
  9. 2008-2009 Knee Tendinosis
  10. ^ NBA Playoffs 2009: Mavs eliminate Spurs
  11. Reinforcement 2009-2010
  12. 2010 NBA All-Star Game
  13. ^ NBA Power Rankings, February 7, 2011
  14. 42-8 is one for the books
  15. Spurs Re-Sign Tim Duncan
  16. ^ Tim Duncan Announces Retirement. NBA.com, July 11, 2016, accessed July 11, 2016 .
  17. therivardreport.com: Spurs to Retire Duncan's No. 21 Jersey after Dec. 18 game article from November 16, 2016
  19. Spurs pull up Duncan Jersey. spox.com, November 17, 2011, accessed November 17, 2016 .