This blog post isn’t going to be a rant like my case for Torry Holt being the best wide receiver in the league was.

But it will be significant, and it will be logical (or at least I hope.) You can call me a Tim Duncan homer or fanboy all you want, but the fact of the matter is that I’m a huge fan of many Power Forwards of league past (sans Karl Malone, however), so erase the thought of any kind of name calling that has bias in one of the sentences you’d be coerced to jeer me. I guess I don’t blame you. Especially if you have silly reasons to hate Duncan. It’s fine. You’re jealous and that’s OK.

I’ve been [practically] preaching it for the past couple of years. Especially ever since he hit that 3-pointer over Shaq to take a one-point lead versus the Lakers in Game 5 of the the 2004 Western Conference Semi-Finals. Moments later, Derek Fisher hit that fadeaway with 0.4 ticks left. Remember the Duncan shot? It was a fallaway 3 over the top of the Big Daddy Diesel. It’s one of the greatest plays — to me — in the history of the game of basketball.

What about the 2003 NBA Finals, probably the last amazing (save for the 2005 NBA Finals) NBA Finals I’ve watched. Not because of the personal sentiments in it, but for Duncan’s triple double he averaged through the year. Watching the Spurs close out the series in game 6 on Father’s Day on June 15, 2003, high fiving him every time the Big Fundamental chopped away at New Jersey’s third quarter lead. Duncan impressed me greatly.

I could name several more moments, but why should I? Those are moments that matter to me. Not to you. Of course, the average “ignorant” (yes, everyone who thinks with the following mentality — in my opinion — is ignorant of the game of basketball and should never watch it again if they want to understand the truth about themselves) fan believes that Tim Duncan is boring, has no emotion. Yet, they complain, each time he questions a referee’s call, and says he whines. Yep, shows no emotion, never yells, but he’s a whiner. Doesn’t amalgamate together there, does it?

Every fan has a certain hate for some great player in every sport, now in days. The respect and class that’s shown towards a player is long gone. There’s only a few Tim Duncan Haters (TDH’s) that I can spot out and tell you that they respect him and his game. Other than there’s nobody, they just ignore the greatness he brings to the hardwood. Ignoring the glory that he showcases. Ignoring the fact he’s one of the few athletes that don’t consider themselves a celebrity. What about when he leaves, when he retires from the game? Will people look back and realize they took his game for granted, that they — the actual haters — will miss him?

People from this basketball-watching-generation will look back in 15-20 years from now and might not even mention much of Duncan. “Oh, Duncan, you say? He won four titles. Was the catalyst of the Spurs’ dynasty. Not a bad player,” they will say. He wasn’t a bad player. He was an astonishing figure of a player in sports. Many ‘former fans’ of the NBA say they don’t like it because the league lacks defense and every team is too offensively oriented. When I hear someone say that I tell them, “watch the Spurs.” They look away with nothing to say. Figures. They’re not the true fans they act to be if they say one thing and go with another. More nominal than ever.

I’m a big Kevin Garnett fan — ‘loved him during his days in Minnesota, and am still a huge fan in his days as a favorite on my favorite, the Celtics — but it’s easy to distinguish him from Duncan. He’s more memorable than Tim, even though the only playoff success Garnett has had — up until this very moment — has been thanks to Sam Cassell in 2003-2004 when Cassell ran him to the Western Conference Finals (not to slight KG, but Cassell was incredible that year during KG’s MVP campaign), and now Cassell is reunited with Garnett again in Boston. Duncan’s four championships to Garnett’s zero; not to mention the three Finals MVPs to Garnett’s un-attempted Finals MVPs.

Why is Garnett more heralded than the guy that’s more unheralded than any other amazing all time great like Tim Duncan? Because he has emotion flowing throughout him for 48 minutes straight, and he shows it. Though, that doesn’t mean Duncan is quiet. Just because you don’t see him on Sports Center running around and yelling, that doesn’t mean anything. Just because, when you see the Spurs on their nationally televised regular season games or their consistent basis of playoff games every year doesn’t mean Duncan is quiet. He sits on the bench, talking to Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. Warranting them of their errors, helping them correct their woes. He sits tight on the bench with a Spurs towel deftly folded over his knees. He will get up occasionally to yell, “let’s go, guys.” He’s a sideline teacher. When his team is horded up on the sidelines, Duncan talks, they listen.

People’s oblivious ideas about Duncan have reached the pinnacle of oblivious. If you don’t like Tim, OK, I don’t have a problem with it at all. But why, for the love of God, is it that everybody has this huge hyperbole swarming like a tornado that Duncan is the most boring, unemotional robot in the league? He’s on television every Spring because the Spurs are constantly that far in the playoffs every year. People know who he is. They just choose to disregard his thoughts and what he does. They see him as a basketball player. They don’t pay attention enough. They dislike the fact that he doesn’t cause scenes or rages around like many NBA players do. They hate it. Yet they nominally scold guys that do the said scenes/rages.

Like a man once said, “to be the greatest, you have to be hated by at least someone, and those someones hate because they know deep down that you are the greatest; that’s when you know you’re something more than good.”

Tim Duncan’s something more than great, whether you want to be admit it or not.


9 thoughts on “Tim Duncan is the Greatest Power Forward in NBA History

  1. Great post! I agree with you that he’s one of the best all time, and that more parents need to realizes that he is a true role model that kids need in the me-myself-first world of sports.

    can you comment on this – is TD “getting old”? He’s “only” 32, but time after time it feels like he no longer has his athleticism and is losing skills (he’s post moves are no longer “crisp”), and that playing against Shaq and other bigger stronger players really wears down his body quickly.

    Of course – he’s basketball smart more than compensates, but for the sake of all basketball fans, I hope he can continue to perform at a high level for many years to come, and I’m concerned he might be getting close to the twilight stage.

  2. I totally agree that TD is one of the greatest and classiest players in NBA history. However, he’s not the greatest power forward simply because he isn’t a power forward. He’s a center, which puts him in another debate. The only reason his name gets thrown around as a power forward is because of the “twin tower” seasons when he played with David Robinson. I think you would have a difficult time making a case for him as the greatest center of all time.

  3. I wouldn’t be able to dub him the greatest center of all time. Two reasons. One, there were more all time greats to have Duncan be compared to. And two — you won’t like my hastily, rude remark, but oh well — he’s never been a Center. He’s played at the Power Forward position his whole NBA career, hence why he is the Greatest Power Forward of All Time. Even Tim himself will say he’s a Power Forward and hates being called a Center.

  4. TD can have the media guide can list him as a point guard, but it just ain’t so. I know he can face the basket and make mid-range jumpers all day, but he’s still the biggest Spur on the floor and typically plays the closest to the basket. Why do you think the Suns traded for Shaq…to handle Fabricio Oberto???

  5. The Suns traded for Shaq to play tough against Duncan because we all know well enough that Stoudemire has no effect on his play. Again, go find Tim Duncan and ask him what he is — a power forward or center (Yup, that’s a tedious statement, but what does that matter?)

  6. On the court, you’re right, it doesn’t matter. TD is a great big man with a hands down HOF career regardless of what anyone labels him. However, if you’re going to dub someone the greatest power forward of all time, I think it’s unfair to compare apples and oranges. Granted, the line between the 4 and the 5 spot is blurry at best. I don’t think it’s just size or just style of play, but a combination of both relative to the other players on the floor. My formula is simple: If you are consistently the biggest guy on the floor for your team, the biggest low post threat (offensively & defensively), and you draw the other team’s best interior defender, you are a center. Obviously this will fluctuate from time to time with certain lineups and schemes, but generally speaking, I think Duncan fits this description. The fact that he can step outside and drill bank shots is a serious asset, but (unlike Nowitzki) TD still thrives near the basket.

    As far as what Duncan himself says, I think he benefits tremendously from being “grandfathered” in to the power forward spot. Even after David Robinson retired, TD annually makes the first team all-nba roster, all star team, etc., in a conference where the center spot belonged (until recently) to Shaq.

    Ok, I’ll let it go…I just think Duncan should be compared more with the Abdul-Jabbars and Olajuwons and less with the Karl Malones and McHales.

  7. I hear your point. Can’t argue with the logic of your opinion. Guess I’m too instilled with my thoughts of him being a Forward rather than Center.

  8. Why can’t Tim Duncan be considered a PF. KG is 7’1, listed at 6’11, but cmon, everyone knows thats crap, Dirk is 7′ Bargani is 7′. Duncan is 6’11 so height has nothing to do with is. He played with Robinson, Rasho, Nazr, Oberto, and now McDyess who is actually a PF, but cmon thats just this season. He plays inside and out, but can double as a center which KG, Bosh, Aldrige, Brand, all often do. I agree that Duncan is the best PF ever. Stats dont tell the who story. If not for Duncan, Tony Parker and Ginobli would never have seen the allstar game. And you cant tell me one GM who would rather have KG that Duncan. Duncan is one of about 5 players you could put on any team and they would automatically be in the playoffs. Glenn Robinson put up better numbers than Scottie Pippen in 04-05 but was he a better player. David Robinson was better Statistically Than Hakeem the same year. Does anyone remember how bad the Dream made him look in the playoffs. Numbers are only part of the story. There are so many things that make players great that you cant put a stat on it. Bowen was the worst statistical SF in the league but the Spurs dont win Championships without him. Tim Duncan played offense, defense, and also made all his teammates better while playing a system to its best potential. Thats what make him the best PF ever. Barkley could score but no Defense. Malone could score, and had OK not Great defense. Webber, Dirk, Gasol, the lists goes on. Good not great defense. And none of these players made their surronding players better. KG had Terrell Brandon, Wally, Joe Smith, Latrell, Sam Cassell. All All-stars except for Joe Smith. So you cant tell me he had no help. Parker and Ginobli are all-stars because there team usually has the best record. You cant tell me Parker is a better player than Deron Williams who has never been an All-star. Or Ginobli and his 16-3-3 was better that Ray Allen’s 25-5-4 the year Ginobli beat Ray out for the all-star game. The Spurs success revolves around Duncan and if not for him they probably would even make the playoffs.

  9. Tim Duncan is in fact a CENTER.

    why do the media (and consequently fans) swear that timmy duncan is a power forward? i don’t care what anybody says, that man was, is, and always has been a center. i don’t want to hear that robinson, nesterovic, nazr muhammed, etc. played center for the spurs while duncan played the 4. bunk! they may have started as the nominal 5, but that’s … See Morenot how the games progressed, plus ever since robinson/duncan worked so well as the redux of the twin towers, spurs management (popovich) has loved having two 5’s on the floor (duncan + whoever). who’s a power forward? mailman, barkley (but actually not always), mchale, rambis (lol), garnett, rasheed, kevin willis, otis thorpe, charles oakley, dale davis, nowitzski (maybe) . . . as for tim duncan? a CENTER!!!. . . on a side note, anybody named gasol is actually a center too.

    random spurs box score from 2009 showing duncan as center:

    random spurs box score from 2008 showing duncan as center:

    random spurs box score from 2007 showing duncan as center:

    random spurs box score from 2006 showing duncan as center:

    random spurs box score from 2005 showing duncan as center:

    random spurs box score from 2004 showing duncan as center:

    random spurs box score from 2003 showing duncan as center:

    random spurs box score from 2002 showing duncan as center:

    caption from a 2010 photo:
    “San Antonio Spurs center Tim Duncan (21) goes up for a jump shot over Orlando Magic center Marcin Gortat (13), of Poland, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Wednesday, March 17, 2010. (AP Photo/John Raoux)”

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