The five-time champion is the biggest underrated greatest basketball player living on earth. With two regular-season MVP beating every great guy in front of him despite playing in a small market team. No dramas or rumors all he cares about is how to get better and to take the title.
In his 19-year career playing Spurs basketball, he was compared among others. Some of them against his rival on opposing teams, and other great players. Tim Duncan played against great players which his biggest rival that his San Antonio Spurs face each other on postseason to qualified for a championship round. From 1999 to 2011 the NBA Finals had Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant, and Dirk Nowitzki. With these 13 Finals, the trio won 11 times.
The Big Fundamental had his biggest nemesis in the name of the game. If we really look there are at least four guys who competed with Tim Duncan’s Spurs in 2000 era.
4. KEVIN GARNNETT
He openly compared to Tim Duncan even they’re not close in terms of winning as they played in the same position. The Big Ticket only face Duncan’s Spurs twice in playoffs in 1999 and 2001 all win by the Spurs. In 1999 playoff game with a lot of hypes that physicality translated to the court with a heated exchange. The two had a great match up carrying their team. In regular season Duncan edges Garnett 27-17. Tim Duncan wins back to back MVPs in 2002-2003 while Kevin Garnett in 2004. While KG wins his title after traded to the Boston Celtics. We can’t say that if Garnnett’s team passes Spurs they’ll be an automatic winner because the West is heavy loaded that time.
3. Steve Nash
The Phoenix Suns led by Steve Nash is a Spurs away becoming an NBA Finalist. The point guard who signed with the Suns in the summer of 2004 win back to back MPVs in 2005-06. As he led the league in assists per game, the same with his team having the best record in 2005. Until the Spurs ruined their chances in Western Conference finals as they loss 1-4. The Spurs and Suns faced four times in the playoffs, which the Suns win finally in 2010 as they swept the Spurs. The closest the Nash Suns can reach the finals is in 2007 where the top seed Dallas Mavericks went home earlier as they were upset by the “we believe” Golden State Warriors. As they’re winning the game four of Conference semifinals against the Spur. Robert Horry made a heroic hard foul to send Steve Nash on the floor, then Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw leave the bench to confront Horry. As the NBA suspended the two and the Suns play game five at home without their two key starters. Imagine if they pass the Spurs and easily beat the Utah Jazz and face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Finals? With Duncan, Steve Nash became ringless in his basketball career.
2. Dirk Nowitzki
The Texas showdown in the is between the Mavericks and the Spurs is what the TV’s waiting for nevermind the Houston Rockets they’re a bunch of losers. These two great power forward guarding each other are fun to watch but coaches find ways to let others guard them. Dirk is so quick for Duncan while Timmy is a force for Nowitzki at the post. The two-faced each other five times in the postseason and Duncan winning by 3-2. The greatest series they had is in 2006 were the Mavericks win in game seven overtime in San Antonio. These two legends played like a hero on each team. If not for the Dirk Nowitzki team in that year the Spurs can win three straight from 2005-2007 right? Same in 2010, the Spurs upset the second-seeded Mavs in the very first round.
1. Kobe Bryant
These two rivals are the biggest and openly compared if which of them are much better with each other. Who ranks higher among the greatest of all time. The late Kobe Bryant is exactly opposite with Tim Duncan. Before his death, Kobe praising Timmy saying that if not for Duncan’s team the Lakers should win 10 straight. Same with Duncan, if not for Kobe Lakers the Spurs can win as many as they want. Kobe in Holywood while Tim on a small market San Antonio. These two combined 10 titles, 3 MVPs, 5 Finals MVP, 30 All NBA, 27 All-Defensive teams and 33 All-Star game appearances. When the faced each other in playoffs after the Lakers beat the Spurs four times they went to the Finals and win 2 championships. Same with the Spurs in three times the beat the Lakers in the postseason they went to the Finals and with the title twice. Pundits believe that the real NBA Finals was the Lakers against the Spurs in playoffs. Every series are exciting and nobody can tell who could win until the final buzzer sound.