San Antonio Spurs’ power forward Tim Duncan was already one of the best players in the history of the NBA and winning a fifth championship by closing out the Miami Heat 104-87 in game 5 on Sunday night will only add to his legacy.
The Spurs’ fate changed forever back in 1997 when they won the NBA’s draft lottery. Duncan, a former Wake Forest Demon Deacons’ star, was the obvious number one overall pick and most believe he would be a superstar in the NBA. Duncan immediately lived up to the billing. Paired with Hall-of-Fame center David Robinson, Duncan averaged 21.1 points, 11.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.5 blocks per game as a rookie. In his second year, he was even better and led the Spurs to the NBA Title. Duncan did it again in 2003, 2005 and 2007. He was named MVP of the first three titles (Tony Parker was named MVP in 2007 and Kawhi Leonard was named MVP of the 2014 Finals).
Duncan suffered heart break for the first time in the finals in 2013. With a 3-2 lead in the series and five-point lead in game 6 with just 28 seconds to play, the Spurs allowed the Miami Heat to tie the game and then win in overtime. The Heat then won game 7 and the Spurs vowed to be better this season. Duncan put up 15.1 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.9 blocks per game, leading the Spurs to a league-best record of 62-20. Duncan was then excellent in the finals, helping the Spurs blow out the Heat in each of the last three games.
After the game, Duncan, along with his two children, hit the podium for his post-game press conference and you can watch that presser below.