Tim Duncan, in full Timothy Theodore Duncan, (born April 25, 1976, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands), American collegiate and professional basketball player who led the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association (NBA) to five championships (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2014).
In his youth, Duncan excelled in freestyle swimming and had hopes of participating in the Olympics after seeing his older sister, Tricia, compete as a member of the Virgin Islands swim team in 1988. The following year, however, Hurricane Hugo destroyed most of the island’s swimming pools, and Duncan was left unable to train. He began playing basketball and proved a natural at the sport, but he attracted little interest from college scouts. In 1993 Duncan entered Wake Forest University, where he gained national attention with his all-around play and poise. He was predicted to be the number one pick in the NBA draft following his junior year, but Duncan elected to stay in school. In his final season he received the John R. Wooden Award as the outstanding collegiate player in the United States.
After graduating with honours in 1997, Duncan was the Spurs’ first overall pick. He and teammate David Robinson formed the dominating tandem known as the “Twin Towers,” and in 1998 Duncan was named Rookie of the Year.
The hallmark of Duncan's career was defined by the Spurs remarkable consistency and while they never won back-to-back titles, their dominance over his 19-year career ended with five NBA championships, with his first coming in his second season in 1999, following his Rookie of the Year campaign.
He went on to win in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014, with no other player winning more titles since he was drafted. Only Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher and Robert Horry matched Duncan with five rings in that span.
Duncan was named Finals MVP in three of those championship runs (1999, 2003, 2005), tied for the second-most in NBA history with Magic Johnson and Shaquille O'Neal, behind only LeBron James (4) and Michael Jordan (6).
Tim Duncan played 19 seasons for the Spurs. He averaged 19.0 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.2 blocks in 1,392 regular-season games. He was selected to play in 15 All-Star games. He won the Rookie of the Year award, 2 MVP awards, 3 Finals MVP awards and 5 NBA championships. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2020.
He is a 14-time NBA All-Star and the only player in NBA history to be selected to both All-NBA and All-Defensive Teams during each of his first 13 seasons.
Duncan started out as a swimmer and only began playing basketball in ninth grade after Hurricane Hugo destroyed the only Olympic-sized pool on his home of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.
He is a four-time NBA champion, two-time NBA MVP, three-time NBA Finals MVP, and NBA Rookie of the Year.
Off the court, Duncan is known for his quiet and unassuming ways, as well as his active philanthropy.
Duncan graduated from college before entering the 1997 NBA Draft as the number one pick.
Awards And Accomplishments
Named to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) All-Rookie Team
National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) National Defensive Player of the Year
First Team All-ACC
NCAA First Team All American
NCAA National Player of the Year and ACC Player of the Year; selected first overall in the 1997 National Basketball Association (NBA) draft by the San Antonio Spurs
Rookie of the Year and NBA All Star
First Team All NBA
NBA championship as member of the San Antonio Spurs; selected Most Valuable Player of the NBA finals
Named NBA's Most Valuable Player and received the IBM Award