Tim Duncan is one of the most successful players to ever come from the San Antonio Spurs, leaving behind him a legacy that is just as influential and memorable as those of Kobe Bryant or Lebron James.
Fans of the National Basketball Association from the late 1990s until the mid-2010swere treated to the fluid, otherworldly movement of Duncan and his famous bank shot.
Although Duncan may not get as much media coverage as other basketball legends, his talent as a forward remains unmatched to this day.
How Many Rings Does Tim Duncan Have?
Tim Duncan has 5 championship rings, which he earned during the 19 seasons that he played with the San Antonio Spurs.
During his nearly 2 decades in the National Basketball Association, this legendary forward earned himself the suiting title of “The Big Fundamental” for his steady and consistently overpowering playstyle.
Duncan won his first championship game in the 1999 Finals when the San Antonio Spurs played the New York Knicks following a season unlike any other that the National Basketball Association had experienced.
Timmy gave San Antonio their first chip on this day in ‘99.
Finals MVP at the age of 23. pic.twitter.com/CQNrYRmnTO
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) June 25, 2021
Due to labor disputes that were going on from 1998 into 1999, the professional league experienced its first shortened season.
This caused the series to be altered into a 2-3-2 format and led to the last 2 games being hosted by the team with the home-court advantage before the National Basketball Association decided to change the Finals into a 2-2-1-1 format.
Tim Duncan led the charge with this home-court advantage, scoring 33 points for the Spurs and winning them the championship title.
The San Antonio Spurs won 89-81. It was the first championship title that the Spurs had ever won.
Duncan would lead the Spurs to victory again in the 2003 Playoffs, where he was named the Most Valuable Player for the 2nd year in a row.
On this day in 2003: The Spurs win championship number 2.
Tim Duncan during the finals:
5.3 blocks pic.twitter.com/Pdsyz4BO0Z
— Project Spurs (@projectspurs) June 15, 2022
It wouldn’t take Duncan long to bring the Spurs back to the championship game.
They returned in 2005 to defeat the Detroit Pistons. 2 seasons later, the Spurs defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in a 4-0 sweep in 2007.
Tim Duncan was the first player to receive the Bill Russell Finals MVP trophy.
In 2005 the trophy was remodeled, the same year the Spurs won the NBA championship. pic.twitter.com/7xYG5Hq5zO
— just your average Tim (@funtimduncan) September 13, 2018
Tim Duncan’s final championship victory came 7 years later when the San Antonio Spurs took on the Miami Heat in 2014.
Out of the series that the Spurs played against the Florida team, they won 4-1 and won each game by at least 15 points.
Is Tim Duncan A Hall Of Famer?
Yes, Tim Duncan was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2020.
Due to the pandemic, much of the celebrations surrounding this Spurs legend’s addition were pushed to 2021.
Many of the coaches and fellow players who worked with Duncan felt that he was unlike any other player they had supported before.
Even influential figures such as Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown and Boston Celtics center Al Horford have commented on how much control Duncan wields defensively over a game.
One of the defining moves of Tim Duncan’s historical career is his bank shot, despite the lack of glamor that was put into the move.
Unlike other professional players’ signature moves, Duncan’s bank shot never needed to be flashy because it was so reliable.
While players like Lebron James added flourishes to their signature moves, Duncan was never concerned with being flashy.
What separates Duncan from countless other players in the National Basketball Association is his drive for victory.
From the moment that Duncan entered the professional league in 1997, he didn’t concern himself with earning a celebrity status.
This forward joined the National Basketball Association to play basketball to the best of his abilities and help lead his team to victory.
Duncan had only started playing basketball following Hurricane Hugo in 1989 when the Olympic-sized pool he used to train in was destroyed.
When Duncan moved from the Virgin Islands to San Antonio, he quickly proved what kind of force he brought to the court.
While most rookies take a couple of years before acclimating to the standards of professional basketball, Duncan showed basketball fans across the United States that he wasn’t going to fall into the same traps.
From the moment Duncan stepped on the court, he was ready to win.
When Did Tim Duncan Retire?
Tim Duncan retired during the summer of 2016, before the 2016 season began.
The announcement was originally made on July 11th by the San Antonio Spurs when Duncan was 40 years old.
The 19 years that Duncan spent with the Spurs was the best 19-year stretch that any team in the National Basketball Association had ever played, earning them a .710 winning percentage.
This was the best winning percentage seen across any American professional sports team during the 19 years.
Tim Duncan was the first overall pick for the Spurs during the 1997 National Basketball Association Drafwhichich quickly proved to be one of the best decisions that the Spurs have ever made.
After leading his loyal team to the championship victory on 5 different occasions, Duncan became the only player in the league’s history to start and win a title across 3 different decades.
Although the 40-year-old forward had been playing for nearly 2 decades, his fans were still taken by surprise when the San Antonio Spurs announced his retirement.
True to his nature, Duncan skipped out on making a spectacle of his retirement and left announcing his retirement up to his former team.
Unlike most athletes who like to have a few final words before leaving the professional league, fans didn’t hear a word from Duncan.
Since he doesn’t post on social media, there was little to no fanfare surrounding the forward’s retirement.
Similar to countless other veteran athletes, Tim Duncan’s final year in the National Basketball Association wasn’t his best and was the first sign that the legendary player may have been retiring.
Following a disappointing match-up against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Duncan began to be questioned about a potential retirement despite doing his best to deflect all questions surrounding the topic.
Does Tim Duncan Play Other Sports?
Tim Duncan has been spending his time in retirement learning martial arts, including kickboxing and mixed martial arts.
Duncan had actually been training under gym owner Jason Echols for nearly a decade before he retired from the National Basketball Association in 2016.
When Duncan first began training with Echols, his trainer was never much of a basketball fan and didn’t fully know what to expect when the 6’11” forward wanted to train in martial arts under him.
While Echols knew who Duncan was and the persona he had in the public eye at the time, the trainer would quickly find that there was more to Tim Duncan than anyone knew.
Duncan may have been nearly silent during his days in professional basketball, but Echols found that kickboxing brought out a completely different side in Duncan.
According to the San Antonio gym owner, Tim Duncan is a “roaring lion in martial arts” and his appearance becomes “a different thing than what you see out on the court” when he enters the ring.
Jason Echols often spars with Duncan and believes that he would make an amazing kickboxer because his “elbows are like spears and his bones are really sharp.”
Duncan’s elbows are so sharp that he tore Echols’ bicep by catching his inner bicep during a right hook.
This former Spurs forward’s success in martial arts comes from the same place that won him 5 championship titles in the National Basketball Association.
His competitive nature and passion for learning have allowed Duncan to become an impeccable fighter.
Like many of Duncan’s former teammates and coaches have stated before, Echols gets to see the level that Duncan performs at constantly.
According to his trainer, “it could be a cupcake-baking contest and he would win because he’s just good at whatever he does.”
Is Tim Duncan Still Coaching The San Antonio Spurs?
No, Tim Duncan is no longer coaching the San Antonio Spurs as an assistant coach alongside coach Gregg Popovich.
Although Duncan is known for his loyalty to the San Antonio team whom he served during his entire professional career, it was understood within the coaching staff of the Spurs that Duncan would only be temporarily coaching.
By having Duncan serve as an assistant coach, the Spurs hoped that the legend could help shape the younger roster of the mostly aging team.
In March 2020, Duncan even stepped up to the position of head coach temporarily when Popovich had to miss a game due to personal matters.
Thanks to help from assistants such as Becky Hammon, Will Hardy, and Chip Engelland, Duncan was able to help the Spurs win against the Charlotte Hornets scoring 104-103.
Hammon has been serving the Spurs since 2014, and Engelland has been a member of the coaching staff since 2005, meaning both assistant coaches once coached the legendary player.
Despite the success that Tim Duncan has had as a coach for the National Basketball Association, coach Popovich claims that the former player is too smart to fully consider a career in coaching.
With Duncan stepping down as assistant coach, the Spurs have promoted assistant coach Mitchell Johnson to Duncan’s former position and decided to elevate Darius Songaila to assistant coach as well.
DeMar DeRozan described the single game that Duncan coached as an unlikely victory that was brought on by a calm speech from the former player.
Rather than getting heated over the fact that the Spurs were losing, Duncan calmly asked him to pull themselves together and strive for victory despite the mess they were in.
Luckily for the Spurs, this predictably monotone pep talk was all they needed to secure the unlikely win.
Did Tim Duncan Get Ejected For Laughing?
Yes, Tim Duncan received the only ejection of his multi-decade career from the notorious referee Joey Crawford during a game against the Dallas Mavericks in 2007.
This moment has since gone down in history for the National Basketball Association as a reminder to all referees to respect the power they wield.
At the time, Crawford was known for the poor moods he would get into and was known for handing out harsh judgments based on the mood he was in.
Duncan had been placed on the bench following an argument on an offensive play.
From a distance, Joey Crawford saw Duncan chuckling about something and immediately assumed that Duncan was laughing at him.
As a result, Crawford ejected Tim Duncan from the game immediately.
The Spurs forward later claimed that the disgruntled referee challenged him to fight after the game.
Duncan was fined $25,000 for “verbal abuse of an official” for his part in the argument, but it was Crawford whose reputation took the majority of the damage.
This 2007 game between the Spurs and the Mavericks is still seen as the worst officiated game in the National Basketball Association’s history and cost Crawford his 21-year streak of officiating postseason after he was suspended for the remainder of the season and even into the playoffs.
Joey Crawford was forced to take several anger management classes and his own admission of being at fault before the professional league was ready to take him back.
When Crawford looks back at that infamous game, he considers it to be one of his 2 biggest regrets in his entire career.
Although the situation was an incredibly heated topic when it originally occurred, fans can look back at the incident as a laughable learning moment for Crawford and other referees.
Is Tim Duncan The Owner Of BlackJack Speed Shop?
Yes, Tim Duncan is the owner of the custom automotive shop BlackJack Speed Shop, which is located less than a mile away from the San Antonio Spurs’ facility.
Duncan first opened the shop in 2012 with the support of his business partner Jason Pena.
The pair first decided to open up BlackJack Speed Shop after discussing their passion for cars during a trip to Las Vegas.
They immediately began thinking of the perfect logo, which caused them to become even more invested in this passion project.
According to Jason Pena, BlackJack Speed Shop is still willing to take on any job they can get their hands on.
They enjoy finding customers who build a relationship with their employees and continue to come back to their shop.
Similar to his relationship with martial arts, working on custom cars at his own shop brings out a different side of Duncan that was never seen on the basketball court.
Although Tim Duncan didn’t have time for nonsense during his career with the Spurs, his laid-back nature helps create a family-like working environment.
According to filmmaker Scott Duncan, he and his All-Star brother have started “an unspoken family tradition of just get it done.”
Although the Duncan brothers prefer to finish a job properly without flourish, neither of them mind getting flashy when it comes to their cars.
Tim Duncan sees his custom cars as a way to cut loose from the mild-mannered reputation he built for himself during his day in the National Basketball Association.
Since retiring, Duncan’s main focuses are his family and his shop.