Duncan during a game in December 2014.
|Born||April 25, 1976 |
Christiansted, U.S. Virgin Islands
|Listed height||6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)|
|Listed weight||260 lb (118 kg)|
|High school||St. Dunstan's Episcopal |
(St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands)
|College||Wake Forest (1993-1997)|
|NBA Draft||1997 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st|
|Selected by the San Antonio Spurs|
|Playing career||1997–2016 (19 years)|
|Position||Power forward / Center|
|1997–2016||San Antonio Spurs|
|Career highlights and awards|
Timothy Theodore Duncan (born April 25, 1976) is an American retired professional basketball player. Duncan played his entire 19 year career for the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA. He is #55 of the 75 greatest players in NBA History. He is one of the many greatest players in paint, scoring 22 points per game, and 8 rebounds per game. He is a five-time NBA champion, two-time NBA MVP, three-time NBA Finals MVP and a 15-time NBA All-Star. His number 21 is retired by the Spurs.
The son of William and Ione Duncan, he was a nationally-ranked swimmer at St. Dunstan's Episcopal High School in the Virgin Islands before the island's only Olympic-size pool was destroyed by Hurricane Hugo in 1989. From there, Tim Duncan switched his focus to basketball, although he did not begin playing organized basketball until the ninth grade.
Tim Duncan was a two-time ACC Player of the Year with the Wake Forest University Demon Deacons.
Duncan was an All-American at Wake Forest, where he finished with honors in psychology. Duncan won the 1997 John Wooden Award as the NCAA's best overall male player based on the votes of sportscasters and newswriters. In that season, Duncan averaged 20.8 points per game and 14.7 rebounds per game. Duncan finished his college career as the leading shot blocker in NCAA history, and is one of only 10 players with more than 2,000 career points and 1,500 career rebounds. He was also the first player in NCAA history to reach 1,500 points, 1,000 rebounds, 400 blocked shots and 200 assists.
He was drafted with the first pick of the 1997 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs, and immediately made an impact, averaging 21.1 points per game his first season. The Spurs were able to pick Duncan (the first senior to be selected first overall since Larry Johnson) due to the fact that they were coming off a 20-62 season due to a David Robinson injury.
During the lockout-shortened 1999 NBA season, Duncan and David Robinson formed the Spurs' "Twin Towers" and both led the Spurs to the franchise's first NBA Finals trophy by beating the New York Knicks in five games.
In the 2001-02 season, Duncan was named the league's Most Valuable Player, joining teammate David Robinson as Spurs members who have earned the honor. After 2002-03, Duncan was named MVP for the second season in a row. Duncan and his Spurs teammates made it to the NBA finals once again, defeating the New Jersey Nets 88-77 in Game Six to win the NBA championship. Duncan was named Finals MVP, and he and Robinson shared Sports Illustrated magazine's 2003 "Sportsmen of the Year" award. His lifetime averages in points, blocks, assists, and rebounds are higher in the playoffs than in the regular season. In the last game of the 2003 NBA Finals, Duncan was two blocks away from a quadruple-double, finishing with 21 points, 20 rebounds, 10 assists and 8 blocks. In 2005, Duncan came up big in Game 7 of the finals with 25 points and 11 rebounds to defeat the Detroit Pistons, despite struggling from the free throw line in the fourth quarter. Duncan won his third NBA Finals MVP Award, joining Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, and Magic Johnson as the only players to win it three times.
Duncan is famous for his graceful finesse on the court and for his low key demeanor. Possessing a sound all-around game, he has been dubbed "The Big Fundamental" by fellow NBA player Shaquille O'Neal. He has also been called "Groundhog Day" by former basketball star and current NBA analyst for TNT Charles Barkley because of his ability to produce very consistently on a day-to-day basis. His signature offensive moves are his smooth footwork and his accurate bank shot. Duncan scored a career high 53 points in an NBA game on December 26, 2001 in a home game against the Dallas Mavericks. He was also known as a part of the 'Twin Towers' with David Robinson.
Duncan ranked #55 on SLAM Magazine's Top 75 NBA Players of all time in 2003.
Tim is also known for his low-profile and sportsmanship off the court as well as on. Duncan is also a benefactor of many charities for cancer research since both his parents died of the disease.
Duncan played with the United States national team in the Championship of The Americas in Puerto Rico, helping them qualify for the 2000 Sydney Olympics. However, a knee injury forced him to stay out of the Olympic Games.
Four years later, Duncan was a member of Dream Team IV, competing in basketball at the 2004 Summer Olympics. The team lost its right to the "Dream Team" nickname by losing three games on their way to a bronze medal. That record represented more losses in a single year than in the 68 previous years combined. It was also the first time since NBA professionals became eligible that the U.S. men's basketball team returned home without gold medals. After their last game Duncan provided a concise summary of his experience on the team:
"I am about 95 percent sure my FIBA career is over. I'll try not to share my experiences with anyone." Duncan asserted this statement shortly after the Olympics ended. His frustration drew from foul trouble, as he was picking up fouls at a rate twice as fast as in the NBA. He sat out a large majority of the crucial game against Argentina, who would later go on to win the gold in 2004 Olympics in basketball. His teammate on the San Antonio Spurs, Manu Ginobili, led the team to victory.
On January 8th, 2006, Duncan announced that he will not play for the United States Olympic team at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Duncan plays the power forward position and is also capable of playing center. As of 2006, Duncan is seen as one of the most complete, dominant and consistent players of the NBA, as having been both nominated for both the All-NBA and All-Defensive Teams in the last nine consecutive years and being a perennial NBA MVP and NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award candidate.
He ranks constantly as one of the top scorers (career average 22.1 points per game, as of November 2006), top rebounders (12.1, with remarkable 3.2 offensive boards) and top shotblockers (2.50). On offense, he regularly abuses opposing big men with his smooth footwork and his vast array of fake moves. He has a very complete offensive game, being seemingly able to score at will, both in the paint and from outside. His trademark off-the-glass bankshot is near-unguardable.
In addition to his impressive statistics, he has also gained a reputation of being a great passer and as a very good clutch player (proven by the fact that he won three NBA Finals MVP awards). He is the undisputed Spurs franchise player, but strikingly unselfish, letting other teammates dominate the game if they have a great day. Under his tutelage, players like Tony Parker, Bruce Bowen and Manu Ginobili became legitimate NBA stars. Duncan is currently regarded as one of the rare players who could transform any NBA franchise into a title contender.
His only drawback is his somewhat inconsistent free throw shooting (.685 career free-throw average). However, experts and fans widely agree that Duncan is one of the best players of his generation.
With his mix of talent, work ethic, leadership, poise and success, few dispute that Duncan (career average 22.1 points / 12.0 rebounds) is among the very best power forwards of his generation. As of 2005, after winning his third NBA champions' ring and the third Finals MVP title, a growing number of basketball fans think that he may be the best power forward of all time:
Tim Duncan is married to Amy, an ex-cheerleader at Wake Forest University. The couple welcomed their first child, a daughter, in late June 2005. Amy oversees the Tim Duncan Foundation, which has been established to serve the areas of health awareness/research, education, and youth sports/recreation in San Antonio, Winston-Salem, and the United States Virgin Islands.
Duncan is nicknamed "Merlin," due to his love of the fantasy role playing game, Dungeons & Dragons, and renaissance fairs. [Briggs, Jerry. "Duncan's unusual hobby and more unusual request." San Antonio Express-News (Texas). November 30, 1997, Sunday ,Pg. 4, Part A] In addition, he has a tattoo of a Skele-wizard on his back and Merlin the Magician on his left pectoral muscle.  On his homepage, Duncan states he is afraid of sharks and heights, his favorite film is The Crow, he is a big fan of the Chicago Bears and his hobbies include collecting knives. He is also an avid gamer and has the strange habit to wear his shorts backwards in training.
Before his mother succumbed to breast cancer, Tim promised her he would complete his university degree before playing basketball professionally. 
When Duncan was called "soft" by ACC rival and Duke center Greg Newton, he responded by challenging Newton's qualifications for making the assessment, facetiously pointing out that Newton was "everybody's All-American".