Tim Duncan Biography
Timothy Theodore "Tim" Duncan is a forward for the San Antonio Spurs and has played for the Spurs since being drafted No. 1 overall in the 1997 NBA Draft. Winner of two regular-season MVP awards, he is considered by many to be the best power forward to ever play in the NBA. Duncan led the Spurs to four NBA titles and was voted the Finals MVP three times. He is just the second player in history to earn Finals MVP honors in each of his first three trips to the finals (joining Michael Jordan).
Tim Duncan is an 13-time All-Star and was NBA All-Star Game co-MVP in 2000, putting up 24 points and 14 rebounds. Duncan has been named All-Defense and All-NBA in every single season of his NBA career. He is the only player in NBA history to earn both All-NBA and All-Defensive honors in each of his first 12 seasons.
Timothy "Tim" Theodore Duncan was born on April 25, 1976 in St. Croix, Virgin Islands. He is the son of William and Ione Duncan and has two older sisters, Cheryl and Tricia.
Growing up, Duncan concentrated on swimming and at one point was a top competitor in his age group in the 400 freestyle. However, his local pool was destroyed by Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and he was forced to train in the ocean. Another tragedy led to the end of his swimming career. His mother lost her battle with cancer the day before Tim's 14th birthday. Duncan never swam competitively after her death.
Duncan began playing organized basketball in the 9th grade. With the help of his brother-in-law Rick Lowery, Duncan's basketball skills got better and better. Over the next three seasons, Duncan grew nine inches and began dominating. His play attracted the attention of several universities.
Tim Duncan chose to go to Wake Forest University over the University of Hartford, the University of Delaware and Providence College because he liked Coach Dave Odom. Odom found out about Duncan after a former Wake Forest player, Chris King told his coach about a kid in St. Croix who played pretty well against Alonzo Mourning. After seeing Duncan play, Odom was sold and eventually convinced Duncan to attend Wake Forest.
Duncan arrived at Wake Forest in the fall of 1993. Things did not start out well as Duncan was held scoreless in his first collegiate game against Alaska-Anchorage. Duncan's struggles didn't last and he finished his freshman year averaging 9.8 points and 9.6 rebounds a game.
Duncan was named an All-American in both his junior and senior seasons, and was the consensus NCAA Player of the Year in 1996-97. He averaged 16.5 points and 12.3 rebounds over his college career with Wake Forest.
Teaming With David Robinson (1997-2003)
Tim Duncan was selected with the first pick in the 1997 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs which teamed him with David Robinson to become known as the "Twin Towers." Duncan averaged 21.1 points and 11.9 rebounds on his way to Rookie of the Year honors. He was named All-NBA First Team. At the time, he was just the ninth rookie ever named All-NBA First Team and the first since Larry Bird in 1980. Duncan was also named All-Defensive Second Team, just the 5th rookie ever named to an All-Defensive Team at the time.
In just his second season, Duncan helped lead the Spurs to the 1999 NBA Championship. He was named NBA Finals MVP after averaging 27.4 points and 14.0 rebounds in the Finals against the Knicks. Duncan was again named All-NBA First Team and All-Defensive First Team.
Duncan and the Spurs experienced a disappointing third season when Duncan suffered a torn left lateral meniscus and missed the playoffs. The Spurs were eliminated in the first round at the hand of the Phoenix Suns.
After back-to-back playoff disappointments, Duncan improved his game across the board and won his first NBA MVP award in 2002, averaging 25.5 points, 12.7 rebounds and 2.48 blocks. At the time, he became the first forward to rank in the top five in scoring, rebounds and blocks.
In 2003, Duncan won his second NBA MVP, averaging 23.3 points and a career-high 12.9 rebounds. He was the first back-t0-back NBA MVP since Michael Jordan in 1991 and 1992. Duncan led the Spurs to their second NBA Championship defeating the Nets and again was named NBA Finals MVP. At the time, he was the ninth player to win both MVP awards in the same season. It was the end of an era as Robinson retired at the age of 38. Duncan and Robinson were named Sports Illustrated's 2003 "Sportsmen of the Year."
His Team (2003-07)
Duncan's first season as the "man" ended with a heart-breaking loss to the Lakers in the Conference Semifinals. The series was best known for Duncan putting the Spurs up by one point with 0.4 seconds left to play in Game 5 with the series tied at two games. However, Lakers guard Derek Fisher hit a buzzer-beater to give the Lakers the win.
Duncan and the Spurs came back the following season to defeat the Pistons in the 2005 NBA Finals in seven games. Duncan was named NBA Finals MVP for the third time in his career. He averaged 20.6 points and 14.1 rebounds.
During the 2005-06 season, Duncan suffered from plantar fasciitis for most of the season and the Spurs lost in the Conference Semifinals to the Dallas Mavericks.
The following season was another championship year for Duncan and the Spurs. The Spurs swept the Cavaliers in the 2007 NBA Finals to give Duncan his fourth NBA Championship. It was the first time that Duncan wasn't named Finals MVP during the Spurs Championship seasons.
Chasing One For The Thumb (2007-2009)
The Spurs regular-season success continued in 2007-08, when they won 56 games and earned the third seed in the Western Conference. In Game 1 of the postseason, Duncan set the tone for San Antonio's title defense with a 40-point effort and a rare three-pointer in overtime to force a second overtime, when the Spurs eventually won. They went on to win that series in five games, then upset the second-seeded Hornets in the next round, winning Game 7 on the road. However, the Spurs fell to the rival Lakers in the conference finals, once again coming up short of a repeat title.
Duncan started off strong in 2008-09, but knee injuries limited his effectiveness in the second half of the season, and the Spurs lost in the first round of the postseason with Duncan playing for the first time in his career. The following season, Duncan's scoring, rebounding and minutes numbers all fell to career lows, but San Antonio once again topped the 50-win mark. Led by Duncan, the Spurs upset Dallas in the first round of the playoffs, but were swept by the Suns in the second round. Even though Duncan's numbers slipped again in 2010-11 -- in part due to another decrease in his minutes to try and keep him fresh for the postseason -- the Spurs experienced a resurgance. For much of the season, they had the best record in the NBA, and finished atop the Western Conference with a 61-21 record. Despite that, San Antonio found little success in the playoffs, becoming just the fourth No. 1 seed to lose in the first round.
The Spurs bounced back with another great regular season in 2011-12, once again earning the top seed in the Western Conference. With the schedule compressed due to the NBA lockout, coach Gregg Popovich did everything he could to manage the minutes of his star players, including Duncan. In a game against the 76ers in March, Popovich held Duncan out, listing the aging star as "DNP-OLD". The extra rest did Duncan good, and he led the Spurs to the conference finals, where they held a 2-0 lead before falling to the Oklahoma City Thunder in six games. During the postseason, Duncan passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the record for most career blocks in playoffs history.
Duncan's first experience with the U.S. national team came at the 1995 World University Games, where he helped lead the team to a gold medal. He was selected for the 1998 FIBA World Championship team, but was forced to sit out due to the NBA lockout.
The following year, Duncan played on the team that won gold at the 1999 FIBA Americas Championship, helping Team USA qualify for the Olympics. Duncan was supposed to play in the Sydney Olympics, but missed the event because of a knee injury. Duncan received another opportunity at the 2004 Olympics as he shared co-captain duties with Allen Iverson. However, the United States lost three games on their way to a bronze medal and was heavily criticized in the media and by fans. It was the first time since professionals were allowed to play in the Olympics that the United States didn't bring home gold. Duncan averaged 12.9 points and 9.1 rebounds in eight Olympic games, and after the tournament was critical of FIBA, saying his international career was likely over.
In 2001, Duncan married Amy, an ex-cheerleader at Wake Forest. The couple has two children.