On this date, 17 years ago, he led the San Antonio Spurs to their second NBA title while having one of the best performances in the history of the NBA finals.
Tim Duncan’s successful career in San Antonio
Duncan spent his entire 19-year career playing with the Spurs. He transformed into one of the all-time greats and had a lot of success. The Spurs selected him with the first overall pick in the 1997 NBA draft. Duncan quickly made an impact when he came into the league. He made the all-star team in his first year and was also named the Rookie of the Year. He finished his rookie season averaging 21.1 points and 11.9 rebounds.
The NBA did not take long to figure out how skilled Duncan was at his position. In his second season, he helped lead the Spurs to their first NBA title. Duncan quickly emerged as a leader on the Spurs team and had one of the best coaches in the game in Greg Popovich. Throughout his career, he averaged 20 or more points in his first eight seasons. He was given the nickname “Mr. Fundamental” based on his skillset and the way he played the game. Duncan wasn’t flashy or didn’t show much emotion during his career.
He went out on the court and did his job and put his team in the best position to win games. Duncan made many all-star teams and was the league’s most valuable player twice in his career. The 6-foot-11 power forward won five championships with the Spurs and finished his career averaging 19 points and 10.8 rebounds. The Spurs retired his No. 21 jersey, and after his playing career, he remained a part of the Spurs organization as a coach.
Tim Duncan’s 2002-03 season
The 2002-03 season was one of Duncan’s best seasons of his career. He averaged 23.3 points, 12.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 2.9 blocks per game. Duncan was named to the All-NBA and All-Defensive team. His performance allowed him to win his second MVP award. The Spurs were one of the best teams in the league.
Hall of Fame player David Robinson announced that the 2002-03 season was going to be his last. Robinson and Duncan were one of the best frontcourts in the game during their time together. The Spurs finished the season as the top team in the Western Conference with a 60-22 record. During the playoffs, the Spurs took on the defending champions Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference finals. Duncan dominated that series to help the Spurs get to the finals.
Tim Duncan’s performance in the 2003 NBA Finals
The Spurs took on the New Jersey Nets in the finals, and Duncan played his best during the series. Duncan led the team in scoring and rebounds averaging 24.2 points and 17 rebounds. The Nets did not have an answer for Duncan.
The Spurs defeated the Nets in six games to win their second title, and Duncan had a performance to remember. On June 15, 2003, Duncan finished with 21 points, 20 rebounds, 10 assists, and eight blocks. He just missed getting a quadruple-double, something that is very rare in basketball. Duncan went on to win the finals MVP and go on to win three more NBA titles throughout his career.