Since being drafted by the Spurs with the first overall pick in the 1997 NBA draft, Duncan and his teammates have always had winning seasons. Only missing the playoffs one time during his 19 year career. He was a part of five Spurs championship teams and won the league Most Valuable Player award twice.
Duncan’s biggest trademark is his ability to use the glass and bank a shot from anywhere on the court, players are taught at a young age to always use the backboard, Duncan is the only player in the league to be a role model of the backboard theory which earned him the nickname “The Big Fundamental”.
He has left an impact on people around the game based on the way he handled himself during his career, the Spurs rival and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said, “He’s a legend. There were a whole lot of wars between our teams and I hated him every minute of it, but I respected him every minute, too. It’s sad to see him go.”
The league will have the same appearance next year, the same flashy superstars headlining the stories and making the highlight reel plays but it will be without the grey haired Mr. Fundamental that hasn’t received the respect him and his numbers prove he deserves.
Photo Credit; Google, “Labeled for Reuse.”