Lack of flash
When fans reminisce about past NBA players they tend to fall in love with the player with the most flashy skills and stats. The player who matched that description in Tim Duncan’s era was Kobe Bryant. Kobe was athletic and could pull off any move offensively and for the Jordan lovers he was a near clone. The thing is Tim Duncan was the best player in this era. Lost in the stats was his simple dominance. When you watch Tim Duncan play it seems like he didn’t care if he scored 30 or 15 as long as he won. He was so fundamentally sound you could expect 20 points and 10 rebounds almost every game. Unless you where a fan of the Spurs you most likely took Tim Duncan’s career for granted. There are many players who put up better numbers but the thing about Duncan was not only was he dominant offensively he was a great defensive player and a great team player. His unselfishness allowed for players like Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili shine in ways they might not have if they played for other teams. If your looking for a football comparison to Tim Duncan it would most likely be Tom Brady. Nothing about either of these guys games are exciting but they are consistently dominant. They study the fundamentals of the game and when watching them play its like they are playing chess when everyone else is playing checkers. These humble superstars allowed their coaches to coach them as if they where any other player which allowed the other players to buy in and play at levels we have never seen from their teammates. Every year the spurs would get some average role player and then they would have the kind of season that made you think they where better players than you thought. In most cases those players would leave the Spurs and come back down to earth. Tim didn’t berate teammates or not talk to them for weeks like other superstars have done he lead in a way a great manager would in any job field. He was accountable he treated people fairly and didn’t use his position as the best player on the team to promote himself. He was all about the team when he could have been after stats. Instead he won rings and elevated an organization who never won a championship before him to five rings. Big men don’t get as much credit when it comes to the GOAT debate but Tim Duncan should get more recognition.
Tim is widely regarded as the best power forward of all time and rightfully so. He didn’t have the stats of Karl Malone or the flash of Kevin Garnett but he was better than both by a country mile. There have been a few players who put up more than 25 points a game but they did it inefficiently or would give you 30 one night and then 18 another. Tim always showed up and more so than most recent superstars he was able to transition into later in his career because of his lack of ego. In the mind of Spurs fans he probably is the GOAT to the average NBA fan who gets most of their information from ESPN and sports highlights but might not have actually payed attention to the game he was a top 20 player. In reality Tim Duncan is a top ten player of all time. He won in a market that had never won before. He won with players that weren’t superstars more so than others. So next time you see a top ten players of all time list and the big fundamental isn’t on there kindly remind the author they are missing someone.