The 2005 title holds a special place in the San Antonio Spurs legend’s heart
If you asked a dozen San Antonio Spurs fans what their favorite championship was you’re sure to get a variety of answers. It’s a pretty personal question, there’s not a wrong response.
Personally, it’s the 2014 championship in my eyes. There was so much about that season and that team that was special.
The heartbreak from the year before, the tightknit nature of the team, the style and quality of play, all of it came together. It was as perfect of a storybook closing moment as you could have imagined for the Big Three.
I’m sure a lot of Spurs fans feel the same way. There’s no debating that the 2014 team was special. But when asked which championship was his favorite, Tim Duncan had a somewhat surprising answer.
Duncan says the uncertainty of the 2005 championship made it special
Appearing on The Ringer NBA show, Duncan opened up about which of his five rings was his favorite. He named the 2005 championship over the Detroit Pistons as the most fulfilling in his eyes.
“The most fulfilling was against Detroit. We had to go to a seventh game against them and that was probably the most nerve-wracking of the Finals…I can remember how it felt going into that Game 7. A reporter was asking before the game, literally asked, if you had any fear of this team. “Are you scared going into this game?” And like, yeah! This is for all the marbles, this is it.”
Duncan would go out of his way to highlight the gauntlet of athletic, punishing big men that the Pistons threw at him during that series. Bruisers like Ben and Rasheed Wallace who just kept on coming after him and clearly made him more aware of the moment.
What stands out about what Tim said most is the aspect of uncertainty and that element of fear that he had going into that Game 7. Were it not for that aspect, I think he might have named the 2014 Championship as his most fulfilling.
If you remember how the Spurs were talking as they approached the 2014 Finals you probably recall how confident they were going into that series. After beating the Thunder in the Western Conference Finals, Duncan confidently declared “We’ve got four more to win. We’ll do it this time.”
That difference between confidence and fear seems like it was probably the difference-maker. In 2005, Duncan clearly wasn’t sure if he’d be ending the season a champion. I don’t think there was a moment during the 2014 season where he was anything less than certain of how the year was going to end.
Tim rarely opens up about stuff like this so this podcast episode was an absolute gem. It’s a must-listen for any San Antonio Spurs fan.