Spurs: Tim Duncan's Hall of Fame Career, from 21-1
8: Blocks by Duncan in the clinching Game 6 of the 2003 Finals
After three quarters of the 2003 NBA Finals, it was looking like Jason Kidd and the New Jersey Nets were going to force a deciding Game 7. They held a 72-63 lead with 8:39 remaining until Duncan's supporting cast came up clutch to will the team to the title.
Tim only scored three points in the clinching quarter of the Spurs' second championship, which makes his final stats even more amazing. Duncan had arguably the greatest NBA Finals game ever, tallying 21 points, 20 rebounds, 10 assists, and eight blocks. It was the second-most blocks ever in a Finals game and gave him 32 total for the series, which is an NBA record.
What's more: there's evidence he had two blocks that weren't counted, which would have given him a quadruple-double.
7: Years between Tim's fourth and fifth NBA championship
There's perhaps no better way to define Tim Duncan's sustained excellence than by pointing out the fact that he won a title in three different video formats. Growing up a fan of the Spurs, I owned the 1999 VHS, 2003 DVD, and 2014 Blu Ray of the Spurs' corresponding championships, among others.
One impressive aspect of Duncan's titles was that he managed to win his final one seven years after his fourth and 15 years after his first. Other than Bill Russell, it's hard to find anyone with a similar amount of sustained success over such a long period.
6: Games in which Tim logged 30+ points and 20+ rebounds
In doing my research for Duncan's best stat-stuffing game every season posted this morning, I was repeatedly taken aback by some of the numbers I was seeing. 53 and 11? 36, 20, and seven? He had so many memorable games that stuffed the stat sheet that it was tough to narrow down in many cases.
Part of Tim's amazing stats were his six games logging 30 or more points and 20 or more rebounds in the same game. For the average player, that would be a career-defining game. For Tim, it was often another day at the office.
5: Total NBA titles with the San Antonio Spurs
Before Tim Duncan's arrival, the Spurs had never made it to the NBA Finals. In 19 years, he was able to lead the franchise to five. Thanks to the efforts of Tim, some first-class teammates, and a legendary coach, San Antonio now has more NBA titles than all but four teams in the league.
Of every franchise that has at least two championships, the Spurs (5-1) have fewer losses in the NBA Finals than everyone but the Chicago Bulls, who've gone 6-0. Tim was able to save his best for the Finals time and time again, resulting in a ratio of five amazing memories to one heartbreak. I'll take it.