- Illustration by Ray Tattooed Boy
The All-Star forward who led the San Antonio Spurs to five championships announced his retirement Monday morning.
During his 19 years, Timmy posted a 1,072-438 regular season record, giving the team a .710 winning percentage — the best 19-year run in NBA history. What's more impressive is that Duncan's 19 years was the best stretch in the NFL, NHL and MLB during that time period.
The Spurs drafted Duncan in the 1997 NBA Draft and he quickly took the helm from David Robinson. With Duncan at the wheel, the Spurs won at least 50 games in the last 17 seasons and during all of Duncan's seasons, the Spurs had at least a .600 winning percentage, an all-time record in the four major U.S. sports.
The retirement announcement follows a disappointing performance in the post-season, when the Oklahoma City Thunder came from behind to knock the Spurs out of contention. There's also been major shake-ups with the Spurs roster in the weeks preceding Duncan's retirement, with David West leaving to join the Golden State Warriors and Boris Diaw being traded to the Utah Jazz. However, it's the absence of Duncan that most drastically changes the Spurs.
Coach Gregg Popovich will now have to rely on Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge as the Spurs move into uncharted territory. Duncan has been the rock of the team for nearly two decades. Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, who join Duncan for the record as the winningest trio during the regular and post season, will remain to provide that veteran guidance to an increasingly younger Spurs roster.
The future aside, Duncan's left his mark on San Antonio and it's one that the city will never forget. In honor of that legacy, here are 10 of Duncan's greatest plays: