Buy this product here: Retired Operator Been There Done That and Damn Proud Of It Shirt, hoodie
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Retired Operator Been There Done That and Damn Proud Of It Shirt, hoodie
We understand that the 15-year span between Duncan’s first title (1999) and last (2014) ranks as the second longest in league history behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (17 years) among players participating in both NBA Finals series, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
We get it that Duncan and John Salley are the only players in NBA history to win titles in three different decades, and that Duncan is the first Hall of Fame inductee to play his entire career of at least 15 seasons for the same coach.
And who can forget that Duncan teamed with Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili to reel off 126 playoff victories, the most in NBA history by any trio — which also owns the most regular-season victories in NBA history (575) — and register as the first set of three teammates or more to capture four championships side-by-side since Magic Johnson, Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Cooper and Kurt Rambis, according to Elias Sports Bureau?
“It’s all a combination of a competitiveness on my own part, a love for playing the game, hating losing and an organization committed to putting the best things in place to give a city, a team, a player like myself an opportunity to win year in and year out,” Duncan said.
The answer to how Duncan accomplished it all falls into more complicated territory, though.
Keep in mind that despite Duncan’s near-flawless fundamentals, he never flashed awe-inspiring athleticism. Former Wake Forest teammate and close friend Marc Blucas jokes that “he and I will both tell you that he can’t jump over a phone book.”
But a look inside Tim Duncan, the man, provides some clues explaining how a rail-thin kid from the U.S. Virgin Islands — one with aspirations to become an Olympic swimmer before Hurricane Hugo destroyed all the local pools in 1989 — took the league by storm and elevated not only the unproven Popovich but an entire NBA franchise with simple, yet crucial character attributes instilled by his parents, Delysia Ione and William Duncan, on the 82-square-mile island of St. Croix in the Caribbean.