Five-time NBA champion Tim Duncan retires
The San Antonio Spurs star is finally calling it a career
Duncan, who turned 40 in April, announced Monday that he is retiring from the NBA after 19 seasons, all with San Antonio.
His final game ended up being a 113-99 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals on May 12. Quiet for much of the series, Duncan showed flashes of his All-Star form in what turned out to be his career finale, with 19 points, five rebounds and a block in 34 minutes.
“Man, he’s meant a lot, a great amount,” Spurs small forward Kyle Anderson said. “When you have Timmy on the floor and you’re out there, it’s so easy to give all your effort because you know he’s just out there talking, he’s out there making sure everybody’s playing hard.
“He’s like, I don’t want to say a father figure out there, but he’s like a big brother out there. I love Timmy. He’s been a great teammate.”
Tim Duncan is the only player in league history to start and win a title in three different decades. pic.twitter.com/pqR8u7129I
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 11, 2016
Since drafting Duncan, the Spurs posted a 1,072-438 regular-season record. That is the best 19-year stretch in NBA history and the best in the four major U.S. sports over the past 19 years.
Duncan partnered with Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich to post the most wins by a player and coach in NBA history with 1,001.
Popovich will discuss Duncan’s decision to retire at a news conference Tuesday.
No group won more regular-season or playoff games than those three. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, they were the first set of three or more teammates to win four titles together since Los Angeles Lakers teammates Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Cooper and Kurt Rambis.
A four-year star at Wake Forest, Duncan was the No. 1 overall pick by the Spurs in the 1997 draft and made an immediate impact, winning the NBA Rookie of the Year award and earning All-NBA First-Team honors, the first of 10 selections in his career. He led the Spurs to a championship in his second season, in 1999, and was named Finals MVP.
He would go on to win four more titles, in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014, and was named Finals MVP twice more, in 2003 and 2005. San Antonio posted a win percentage of at least .600 in 19 straight seasons with Duncan, the longest such run in NBA history.
Duncan finishes his career with averages of 19.0 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.2 blocks per game. He ranks 14th all time in points (26,496), sixth in rebounds (15,091) and fifth in blocks (3,020).
Duncan made the NBA All‐Defensive First Team eight times. He is only the third player in NBA history to win 1,000 career regular-season games. Abdul-Jabbar and Robert Parish are the only players with more career victories.
ESPN staff writer Michael C. Wright contributed to this report.