4. LeBron James praises Tim after retirement from the San Antonio Spurs
Other than his own teams, it's hard to think of an organization LeBron James respects more than the San Antonio Spurs. He's always had a close relationship with Gregg Popovich and has had to face his squad in the NBA Finals in three of his 10 trips.
Much as Kobe Bryant caught on early that Duncan was going to be special in the league, Duncan knew James would dominate the NBA soon enough after his Spurs swept LeBron in the 2007 Finals.
Duncan's Spurs went 2-1 against LeBron in the NBA Finals, and LeBron's respect for them only seemed to grow with each meeting. After Tim announced his retirement from the league, James had some kind words to say about him on Instagram.
"I always knew who I could look to if I ever wasn't professional about this lovely game, and that's you," said LeBron in his farewell letter to Tim. We already know how much Duncan dominated on the court, so this quote especially stood out to me, coming from someone who's done so much for the game off of it.
LeBron has several other great quotes about Duncan's career, such as when he said: "the postseason was his address" after passing him on the all-time NBA playoff wins list.
3. "He's probably the most fundamental all-around big man." - Michael Jordan
From one top-three NBA player ever to another, Michael Jordan makes an appearance at number three. Tim Duncan's Spurs were the first team to capture an NBA title after Jordan's retirement, taking the 1999 championship to San Antonio after the Bulls won three straight.
It was a couple of years after the second Bulls three-peat that Jordan attended a basketball camp. In a Q & A session with the campers, Jordan was asked about the most talented player in the NBA, to which he gave Tim Duncan a special shout-out.
Michael paused for a while, eventually naming Grant Hill, Kobe Bryant, and Shaquille O'Neal as some options. When arriving at Tim Duncan, he expanded a little bit more on why no one should sleep on him.
"He's probably the most fundamentally fundamental all-around big man," said Jordan. It was high praise from His Airness, especially considering Duncan's career was just getting started.
Duncan always respected Jordan, but interestingly enough, he revealed on a couple of occasions that he wasn't particularly a fan of his growing up.