Timothy Theodore Duncan (born April 25, 1976) is an American professional basketball player who has played his entire career for the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is a five-time NBA champion, two-timeNBA MVP, three-time NBA Finals MVP, and NBA Rookie of the Year. He is also a 15-time NBA All-Star and the only player ever to be selected to both the All-NBA and All-Defensive Teams in every one of his first 13 seasons.
Duncan started out as a swimmer and only began playing basketball in ninth grade after Hurricane Hugo destroyed the only Olympic-sized pool on his home of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. He soon became a standout for St. Dunstan’s Episcopal High School, and had an illustrious college career with the Wake Forest University Demon Deacons, winning the Naismith College Player of the Year, USBWA College Player of the Year and John Wooden awards in his final year. Duncan graduated from college before entering the 1997 NBA draft as the number one pick.
Off the court, Duncan is known for his quiet and unassuming ways, as well as his active philanthropy. He holds an honor degree in psychology and created the Tim Duncan Foundation to raise general health awareness and fund education and youth sports in various parts of the United States.
In the 1997 NBA draft, the San Antonio Spurs drafted Duncan with the first draft pick. The Spurs were coming off an injury-riddled 1996–97 season; their best player, David Robinson—himself a number one draft pick in 1987—was sidelined for most of the year, and they had finished with a 20–62 win–loss record. However, as the 1997–98 seasonapproached, the Spurs were considered a notable threat in the NBA. With an experienced center in Robinson and the number one pick in Duncan, the Spurs featured one of the best frontcourts in the league. Duncan and Robinson became known as the “Twin Towers”, having earned a reputation for their exceptional defense close to the basket, forcing opponents to take lower percentage shots from outside.
On June 23, 2014, Duncan exercised his $10.3 million player option for the 2014–15 season. On November 14, 2014, Duncan scored his 25,000th point in the first half of the Spurs’ 93-80 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, becoming the 19th player in NBA history to reach the milestone. On February 19, 2015, he passed Alex English to move into 16th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with 30 points against the Los Angeles Clippers. On March 4, he recorded six rebounds against the Sacramento Kings, breaking his tie with Nate Thurmond for ninth in career rebounding. Two days later, he recorded three blocks against the Denver Nuggets to surpass Patrick Ewing for sixth overall in career blocks. On April 12, he played his 1,330th career game against the Phoenix Suns, which passed Moses Malone for 11th all-time. He also scored 22 points and passed Kevin Garnett to move into 14th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. On July 9, 2015, Duncan re-signed with the Spurs to a two-year deal. On November 2, 2015, in a win over the New York Knicks, Duncan recorded 16 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in his NBA-record 954th victory with one team, surpassing John Stockton’s 953 wins with the Utah Jazz. On November 11, he pulled down rebound number 14,716 for his career against the Portland Trail Blazers to pass Robert Parish for seventh place on the NBA’s all-time rebounding list. On November 14, in a win over the Philadelphia 76ers, Duncan had five blocked shots to become the Spurs’ franchise leader with 2,955 blocks, surpassing former teammate David Robinson’s career total of 2,954. Duncan also moved info fifth all-time on the NBA’s blocks list.
Career highlights and awards
5× NBA champion (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014)
3× NBA Finals MVP (1999, 2003, 2005)
2× NBA Most Valuable Player (2002–2003)
15× NBA All-Star (1998, 2000–2011, 2013, 2015)
NBA All-Star Game MVP (2000)
10× All-NBA First Team (1998–2005, 2007, 2013)
3× All-NBA Second Team (2006, 2008–2009)
2× All-NBA Third Team (2010, 2015)
8× NBA All-Defensive First Team (1999–2003,2005, 2007–2008)
7× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (1998, 2004,2006, 2009–2010, 2013, 2015)
NBA Rookie of the Year (1998)
NBA Shooting Stars champion (2008)
NBA Teammate of the Year (2015)
San Antonio Spurs all-time leading scorer
USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year (2003)
Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year (2003)
National college player of the year (1997)
2× Consensus first-team All-American (1996–1997)
3× NABC Defensive Player of the Year (1995–1997)
2× ACC Player of the Year (1996–1997)
No. 21 retired by Wake Forest