Tim Duncan: The Best of His Generation?


In a nail biting finale, the San Antonio Spurs managed to settle their feud with Miami Heat last Sunday as they battled their way through to a 104-87 victory. The win was particularly significant for the boys, who had missed out on the title in 2013 as Miami claimed a 95-88 victory.

Among the team’s big names was Kawhi Leonard, who made more than one achievement throughout the game. Leonard was awarded the coveted Most Valuable Player award, which was presented to him by 11 time MVP winner Bill Russell.

Leonard accepted the award with modesty and graciousness, saying: “Right now, it's just surreal to me. I have a great group of guys behind me.”

At just 22 years old, he has broken another record, having been crowned the youngest MVP award winner since fellow Spurs man Tim Duncan. 

But Tim Duncan also deserves recognition for his performance, not just in the hair-rising final but for his whole career within the Texan team. Back in 1997, the San Antonio Spurs may have just made their best decision ever – signing the then 21-year-old Duncan with the first overall pick in the NBA draft.

Since that year, the Spurs have broken some amazing records. The team have won five NBA titles in total, which only began happening with the signing of Duncan, and are now just behind the Chicago Bulls (six titles), the Los Angeles Lakers (16 titles) and the Boston Celtics (17 titles) in the running to be the team with the most NBA titles.

Furthermore, the Spurs have the highest overall winning percentage in any professional sport since 1997, winning no fewer than 60 per cent of their games since Duncan was drafted.

But can the team’s success be entirely down to one player? Undeniably, Leonard played well, as shown by his Most Valuable Player award, but it is perhaps the winning trio of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker that is so magical. The three have won more playoff games than any other trio of players in NBA history, under the guidance of coach Gregg Popovich.

Duncan’s age is leading some sports fans and commentators on www.bettingsports.com/nba to question whether or not it’s time to retire: at 38, he’s got a lot more years behind him than some of his MVP award-winning peers. But with such a sterling performance for the team, the bigger question is why Duncan would want to retire.

He has joked before, when told his list of achievements, that he ‘feels old’, but with such a clean sheet in 17 years of basketball, there’s no reason why Duncan can’t carry on winning titles for the Spurs in years to come.

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