San Antonio Spurs History

Spurs: Shattering the "Tim Duncan had more help" argument

Tim Duncan San Antonio Spurs
Tim Duncan San Antonio Spurs / Andy Lyons/Getty Images
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San Antonio Spurs
Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, Tim Duncan / Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The "Argument" against Tim Duncan

"Tim Duncan is a system player. He would be nothing without Pop. Wouldn't it be nice if (insert hater's favorite player) got to play with 4 Hall of Famers in their prime as Tim did? Those Spurs teams were so deep. Timmy didn't deserve all those MVPs and Finals MVPs."


God, that was hard to type. And here's why: First of all, they don't hold up logically, AT ALL. Secondly, most of the players being advocated for by the people who use these arguments were more egregious benefactors of "help." Again, I have no problem with help. Basketball is, after all, a team sport. But if biased or casual fans want to play that game, I'm as ready as ever.

Misconception 1: "Duncan Would Be Nothing Without Pop"

Coach Pop. Arguably the greatest coach ever, of any sport. But he didn't start off that way. Remember that 20-62 1996-97 season that went 17-47 with Pop in his lone season prior to Duncan joining the team?

If not, that's cool - we could talk about the 1999-2000 season where Coach Pop was almost fired 14 games in. Or the playoffs that year, where despite winning the championship the year before, the lower Suns nearly swept the Spurs despite possessing the lower seed in Tim Duncan's absence. We could also talk about Tim Duncan's legendary-plus minus, or the fact that he came into the NBA already polished on both ends as a 20-10 two-way nightmare.

The point is, there's a lot we can talk about but all roads lead down the same path. If anything, Duncan made Pop, not the other way around. Don't believe me? Because there are quotes we can point to, from Pop talking about how Duncan allowed him to coach the rest of the team, how he would tell his wife to thank Timmy for their house and his financial stability, and even some jokes (but also half-truths) about how he held Duncan back.

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