San Antonio Spurs star Tim Duncan chose to step away from the game on Monday, leaving behind a 19-year career that included five National Basketball Association titles, 15 All-Star Game selections and back-to-back MVPs. He is a five-time NBA champion, 15-time All-Star and two-time NBA Most Valuable Player. Duncan also lost the final game he played against the Wizards, finishing with eight points and 11 rebounds in a 102-99 Washington triumph last November.
The superstar ranks fifth in career blocked shots (3,020), sixth in rebounds (15,091), seventh in games played (1,392) and 14th in points (26,496). Duncan, who went about his business quietly and with no need to self-promote, walked away following his 19th season in which the Spurs won a franchise-record 67 games but were eliminated from the playoffs by Oklahoma City in the Western Conference semifinals. The future hall of famer will leave the game with 15 All-Star appearances, 15 time All-NBA selections, 2 MVP's, 1 Rookie of the Year Award, and 5 NBA Championships. He proved to be flawless fodder for one of The Onion's greatest series of running jokes, inspiring headlines like "Tim Duncan Delivers Heartfelt Speech On Fiscal Responsibility During Spurs Victory Celebration" and "Tim Duncan Makes Citizen's Foul Call". He is arguably one of the best power forwards of all time.
Duncan was the No. 1 overall pick in 1997 and teamed with coach Gregg Popovich, point guard Tony Parker and shooting guard Manu Ginobili to turn the Spurs from a solid franchise that could never quite get over the hump into one of the league's superpowers.
251 - The number of playoff games in which he played. For comparison's sake, Bill Russell played in 1,098. He's dominated the league for so long as he's torn through numerous game's greatest teams against duos.
"He looked at me", Thomas wrote, "and said much better".
Before that 2014 Finals began, Charles Barkley suggested Duncan would retire if the Spurs won the title.
Like Duncan's game, the release was extremely straight-forward, and effective. He was never selfish and never cared about individuality. He was second on the team in points, averaging 12.9 per game, and led the team in rebounds with 9.1 per game. From his patented off-the-window jumpers to his fundamental defense, Duncan will always be remembered for being one of the greatest. "His devotion to excellence and mastery of the game led to five National Basketball Association championships, two regular-season MVP awards and a place among the all-time greats, while his understated selflessness made him the ultimate teammate", National Basketball Association commissioner Adam Silver said.