San Antonio Spurs

Inside the numbers behind Tim Duncan's Hall of Fame career

There haven't been many NBA careers better than Tim Duncan.

While the likes of Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash and others might have grabbed most of the headlines during the 2000s, the quiet assassin led the San Antonio Spurs to one of the most dominant dynasties in NBA history, earmarked by a relentless commitment to winning.

Duncan himself forged one of the most individually dominant careers, both statistical and trophy-wise, and while his lack of showmanship and quiet demeanor often let him fly under the radar, he let his game do the talking.

Five years on from his retirement, Duncan will be enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Memorial Hall of Fame in May alongside Garnett and Bryant, and today we look back at one of the most legendary careers in NBA history and the eye-popping numbers that go with it.

5: NBA championships

The hallmark of Duncan's career was defined by the Spurs remarkable consistency and while they never won back-to-back titles, their dominance over his 19-year career ended with five NBA championships, with his first coming in his second season in 1999, following his Rookie of the Year campaign.

He went on to win in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014, with no other player winning more titles since he was drafted. Only Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher and Robert Horry match the Duncan with five rings in that span.

Duncan was named Finals MVP in three of those championship runs (1999, 2003, 2005), tied for the second-most in NBA history with Magic Johnson and Shaquille O'Neal, behind only LeBron James (4) and Michael Jordan (6).

Winning in the 90s, 2000s and 2010s, Duncan is the only player in NBA history to win championships across three different decades.

Dominance.

26,496: A whole lot of points

Arguably the best power forward of all-time, Duncan scored 26,496 career points across 19 seasons, retiring as the 14th highest scorer in league history. He currently sits 15h all-time after Carmelo Anthony leapfrogged him in January 2021.

A monster in the post, it feels like every one of those points came from his signature bank shot.

If Nowitzki owns the one-legged fadeaway, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar the skyhook and Hakeem Olajuwon the Dream Shake, then the bank shot belongs to Big Fundamental.

53: Duncan's career-high in points

Duncan's only 50-point game of his career came against the Dallas Mavericks in 2001 in a 126-123 overtime loss.

The Mavericks eventually got the win on a last-second 3-pointer from Steve Nash, but Duncan carried the Spurs for the entire game and overtime, pouring in 53 points on 19-of-28 shooting from the field and a perfect 15-of-15 at the free-throw line. He added 11 rebounds, four assists and three blocks on the night, with his 53 coming without a single 3-point attempt.

At the time, it was the most points scored by a Spurs player since David Robinson's 71-point performance in 1994. Since then, Tony Parker (55 in 2008) and LaMarcus Aldridge (56 in 2019) have eclipsed Duncan's mark.

15: Don't forget about defence

While it's easy to remember Duncan as the scoring machine that he was for the Spurs, his impact on the defensive end was just as important to the Spurs' success.

Duncan was named to 15 NBA All-Defensive teams, three more than any other player in NBA history. Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant come in second with 12 each, while Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has 11.

Eight of Duncan's selections were to the First Team, with only Bryant, Garnett, Gary Payton and Michael Jordan having more with nine apiece.

He was also named to 15 All-NBA teams, tied with Bryant and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most all-time, with 10 of those being First Team nods. Only LeBron James (13), Bryant and Karl Malone (11) have more.

Such was his dominance during his era, Duncan was named to one of the All-NBA teams and one of the NBA All-Defensive teams for 13 straight seasons, the longest streak in NBA history. For context, Payton sits second with nine consecutive dual accolades.

He also earned 15 All-Star selections, tied for fourth all-time.

50: All he does is win

The Spurs won at least 50 games in 18 of Duncan's 19 seasons, with the lone exception coming in the 1998-99 lockout season.

That year the Spurs held a 37-13 record, good for a winning percentage of 74 percent, which would equate to a 60-win season in a regular 82-game campaign.

They would go on to win the championship that year, beating the New York Knicks in the Finals 4-1.

19: Years with the Spurs

In the modern age of free agency and player movement, a one-team player is hard to come by these days, but Duncan was the epitome of what it means to be a franchise cornerstone from a No.1 overall draft pick.

Duncan spent his entire 19-year career with the Spurs, tied with Utah Jazz legend John Stockton for the third-longest tenure with a single team.

Only Dirk Nowitzki (21) and Kobe Bryant (20) played more seasons with a single team in NBA history.

Duncan's impact on the franchise was felt from the jump after being drafted in 1997. The Spurs won just 20 games the season prior, largely due to injuries to David Robinson, but with Duncan on board, they improved to 56 wins, the second-largest increase in wins by a team in NBA history.

71: The percentage of games won

Perhaps the wildest of numbers in Duncan's career and a testament to his consistency, the Spurs won 71 percent of their regular-season games since drafting Duncan.

That mark is the highest winning percentage of games in the league during his career and is the best 19-year stretch of winning in NBA history. Remarkably, it's also the best across all four major North American sports (NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB).

701: Duncan, Parker and Ginobili - a dominant Big 3

While Duncan was the cornerstone of the Spurs success, you can't look back at his career without remembering his combination with Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.

The trio won an NBA record 701 games together, including 575 regular-season games and 126 playoff games.

Those 126 playoff wins would rank 15th among all NBA teams. Yes, you read that correctly. Duncan, Parker and Ginobili have more playoff wins than half of the franchises in the NBA.

251: Playoff games played

Not many players can say they made the playoffs every single season of their career.

But that's what Duncan did.

Duncan appeared in 251 playoff games, which ranks him above 15 NBA teams for playoff games played.

He has played the third-most playoff games in NBA history, trailing only Derek Fisher (259) and LeBron James (260), with LeBron (10,811) the only player to play more playoff minutes than Duncan (9,370).

In those 251 playoff games, Duncan averaged 20.6 points, 11.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 37.3 minutes while shooting 50.1 percent from the field.

He ranks first all-time in playoff double-doubles (164) and blocks (568), third in rebounds (2,859) and sixth in points (5,172).

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