This could end up as the Tim Duncan Era, especially if he can land that 6th ring with a back to back next year! Still many will call it the Kobe era period; why because he is just as talented and soaks up the lime light.
Tim Duncan may end up as the Bill Russell of his generation. I have already heard the argument that Duncan is not as good as Kobe. The reasons:
Duncan had a better coach.
Duncan had Robinson and then a ton of other talent Parker, Ginoibli now Lenard
Duncan is a team guy product of a system.
Duncan doesn’t dominate and this is why he is a second tier superstar
Okay let’s start off with coaching Pop is a hall of fame coach… last I checked Kobe had the triangle and the Zen master Phil Jackson. I guess Phil is a bum (I don’t think that at all Mr. Jackson) and without M.J. and Kobe wait forgot Shaq, Pippen, Rodman, the list goes on. Phil would have been in a broadcast booth somewhere talking about other great teams. Maybe Phil would have been Pop without the Superstars has anyone thought about that and by the way Pop has managed plenty of superstars and one is Tim Duncan. Pop has managed to get handed a group of humble guys that just like the feeling of holding trophies. For one of them you can truly say that Duncan came out and had a Nike deal, I am sure Powerade or Gatorade would have had him on their pitch team. Duncan could have been as big as he wanted, but this humble giant just collected up 5 rings and stayed in little ole San Antonio. It doesn’t stop there Duncan has done the MJ and taken less than his market value as far as his contracts go.
Next Duncan had Robinson and now Parker, Manu and Kawhi. I almost want to say Robinson had Duncan more than the other way around. No disrespect to Robinson it is more on the side of did Elway have TD or did TD have Elway when the Broncos won those Superbowls. The two big men needed each other to win those NBA titles; Duncan was a young spark and Robinson was getting ready to say goodbye to the best he had to offer. Yet, for the Spurs Robinson did give them something that many others might not been able to by guiding the young spark Duncan. The development of talent in the Spurs organization is overlooked, and the evaluation of talent is also one of the best in the league. Why do I mention that because these factors are important to why they chose Duncan and how they handled the budding superstar and have no doubts that Duncan has been a superstar. His hard work dedication ability to keep business, business and behind closed doors allowed for the Spurs to have a honest run at the title the entire time Duncan has been a Spur.
Now is Duncan a product of a system? Maybe, he is however the last of an era. The last 1st overall pick to finish four years of college. Say what you want but, take a look at his era Kobe H.S., Garnett H.S., LeBron James H.S., Dwight Howard H.S., Paul Pierce did it the NFL way by entering the NBA draft after his junior year. Duncan 4 years of college and no not all of them were 1st overall; make no mistake those are his peers when the Hall of Fame comes knocking these are the men making speeches. Not Kwame Brown, Elton Brand, Andrew Bogut to name a few. Yes there has been a run of possibly legendary players selected 1st overall recently but, they are not really a part of the Duncan era. So when you say he is a product of a structured system what you really are saying is he learned how to present himself, behave himself, and most importantly take and give instruction due to his maturing years in college. Saying Duncan is who he, due to Pop’s system is the same as saying Kobe is the player he is because of Phil and the triangle offense. Plan and simple and remember Kobe wanted Phil back and the Lakers have yet to win a title without Phil.
Finally, Duncan doesn’t dominate. What you are saying is Duncan is not a black hole demanding the offense run through him because of his ability. This is something that is said of one of his peers LeBron also. Is there something wrong with letting the game come to you playing defense, get rebounds using your talent to make others better or free them from excessive defensive pressure? Duncan dominated when he needed to in his younger years and even for brief moments in this last playoff run. Duncan is not Shaq (4 rings) he was never larger than life like Shaq. Duncan is not Howard who is still looking for a ring and demands a lot of attention. Duncan is the blue collar work that only needs to know where you need him. That is it, he will ask only that you plan for a victory in the long run, Duncan would never chase the Bulls 72 win season. So saying he doesn’t dominate is true, well unless you count heavy hands from the weight of all those rings a sign of domination? Duncan may end up the Bill Russell of his generation because of Kobe’s and LeBron’s domination of all things NBA, but when you look at the resume Duncan has built isn’t bad. Duncan’s legacy was cemented before these last two seasons now it is all about taking victory laps, only difference is Tim will do it quietly with a humble face and the look of an everyday guy you have a beer with and you would say “I would go to war for that guy there.”