Prevailing wisdom says an athlete is overlooked or underappreciated, hits on an aspect that appeals to the masses and, lo and behold, we got bedlam … and, ultimately, overrated BS.
He’s a terrific talent.
He’s a better player than this guy, that guy and the next guy.
He’s … the greatest ever.
With apologies to all the true Tim Duncan fans out there who, cross their hearts and hope to die, honestly, truthfully, genuinely believe that the longtime member of the San Antonio Spurs was all that and a bag of chips, too, and absolutely no apologies to the brain-dead among us regurgitating whatever cliché or statement happens to be trending at the moment, get real.
Look, show the man some respect as he enters retirement and appreciate what he did for almost two decades with the club, the championships he won with it, the production he gave it, the fact during his 19-year NBA career he only bore allegiance to it. But stop the insanity.
It’s been going on for far too long as is.
The greatest power forward of all time? The GOAT, period? Puh-leeze.
Duncan was a wonderful player placed in an ideal situation to utilize his fundamentals-based skill set, due to the individuals surrounding him on the floor, bench and front office throughout his tenure in Texas. He played the game well, very well, and he played it with, for lack of a better word, honor.
Beyond that … gotta chill out there.
For starters, the whole “power forward” distinction used to pinpoint his domain of excellence is flawed. The game’s history not only has so many gifted people to challenge him for such an honor, but more versatile ones as well. You think Larry Bird and LeBron James didn’t play power forward during their careers?
You think Duncan was better than either of those two?
If so, check your meds …
Frankly, at their peak times, which pretty much covers the first half of Duncan’s career, you can’t tell me he was a better “4” than Kevin Garnett. Oh, Duncan’s teams were better than Garnett’s team. But head-to-head, mano-y-mano, just on an individual basis, am taking Garnett back then every time. Yo, the ever-active Garnett won four NBA rebounding crowns. Duncan never led the NBA in a single individual stat for any season.
Hey, he wasn’t better than Karl Malone, either … and, please, forever and always, spare me the “titles won” argument as a selling point to judge individual greatness in a team sport.
Also, maybe it’s me, but kinda got a standard for GOAT candidates having to be the best players for their own franchises before deserving consideration. Yeah, you could make the case he tops George Gervin, but it wouldn’t be easy … and it wouldn’t be possible to make one that he trumps David Robinson.
Sorry, reality check confirms that the Admiral was better than the Big Fundamental. Better scorer (21.1 points per game career average to 19.0), better shooter from the floor (.518 to .508) and line (.736 to .696), and better defender (3.0 blocks to 2.7, and 1.4 steals to 0.7). Just a more dynamic player in general.
Even with Duncan besting Robinson for career averages on rebounds (10.8 to 10.6) and assists (3.0 to 2.7), the latter outdid Timmy on single-season highs with those (13.0 to 12.9, and 4.8 to 3.9).
Don’t recall Duncan ever erupting for anything close to the 71 points in a game like Robinson did, either.
Funny how we laud the 6-foot-11 Virgin Islands native for being such a quiet, no-muss/no-fuss, loyal pro who didn’t ruffle a single feather in San Antonio, pointing at him to be the poster boy for model NBA citizen, yet every other member of the Spurs, including Robinson, has been the same and that never gets mentioned.
He gets “gold stars” for going to college all four years (hello, Admiral … you, too, huh), utilizing the bank shot and sporting a blank expression during games as well, as if all those things actually make a whit of difference as to the quality of his performance.
Not for nothing, but the ballyhoo over such a nondescript person largely because he was such a nondescript person … well, it’s BS.
Yes, of course, Duncan was a Hall of Fame player.
Just leave it at that and drop the grossly exaggerated, “greatest ever” attachments.
Once and for all.
IN A NUTSHELL
You wanna get a grasp of the greatness that was Tim Duncan on the basketball court? Well, the parody below from YouTube sensation Brandon Armstrong, aka BdotAdot5, offers pretty good, and funny, visual evidence:
IN A NUTSHELL #2
A look at the individual achievements by Tim Duncan during his 19-year NBA career: