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Tuesday, April 9th, 2013 at 10:00 am  |  106 responses

Tim Duncan Credits Shot Blocking to Being Old and Slow


You wouldn’t know it by looking at his often expression-less face, but Tim Duncan is actually a really funny guy. Occasionally, he even lets the world in on this secret. Here’s the San Antonio Spurs legend joking about his advanced age and lack of speed leading to a historic season on the defensive side of the ball. Per the Express-News: “At age 36, and in the midst of arguably the greatest run of shot-swatting in his Hall of Fame-bound career, Duncan says the secret behind his longevity as a defensive menace is twofold. ‘I’m old,’ Duncan deadpanned, ‘but I’m slow.’ [...] In his 16th season, Duncan has been offering up more rejections than a homecoming queen, totaling 173 in 65 games — all, as he likes to joke, without leaving the floor. Duncan’s average of 2.7 blocks per game ranks third in the league and puts him on pace for the best shot-blocking season by a 36-year-old in league history. Since the NBA began tracking blocks in 1973-74, no player Duncan’s age has come close to that number over a full season. New York’s Patrick Ewing averaged 2.6 blocks in 38 games of a lockout-shortened 1998-99 campaign. Duncan’s average of 3.2 blocks per 36 minutes, meanwhile, marks by far the highest rate of his career. Are we amazed yet? ‘I guess to some degree, I should say yes,’ coach Gregg Popovich said, ‘just because people in that stage of their career don’t do the things he’s doing.’ An eight-time member of the NBA’s All-Defensive first team, Duncan — who turns 37 on April 25 — is building a case to become the oldest Defensive Player of the Year in history. The eighth-leading shot-blocker of all time with 2,642, Duncan is the centerpiece of a Spurs team that ranks third in defensive efficiency, up from 10th last season. He has posted at least three blocks in a game 31 times this season, including a stretch of seven in a row in January. [...] Like a magician loath to reveal the technique behind his illusions, Duncan downplays the legwork that goes into his shot-blocking. ‘I just think I’ve tricked people into coming into a certain territory,’ Duncan said.”

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  • Omar

    Since Pop says he’s really a center, Timmy should make All NBA 1st team then.

  • RedRum

    Bit more evidence why Duncan is Top5 all time. With Lebron playing the way he does, he needs another ring or two to pass him. At the moment (I know this will sound crazy…) I have Duncan after the two MJs (Jordan and Magic), with Lebron just behind, and Bird-Shaq-Hakeem on a tie. If you really pressed me, I might have put TD only after MJ. Crazy, right? well… not so much if you see his numbers, and also taking under consideration one extremely important factor. DEFENSE! Bird, Magic were awful defenders. Duncan is probably the best two-way post player the game has ever seen. Lebron is getting there. If I were to start a franchise right now, MJ would be first and would have a lot of thought between Duncan and Lebron.

  • RedRum

    Before people start commenting regarding Russell, Oscar, Wilt, West, Dr J etc, I need to clarify something. We cannot compare players from that era to the post-80s NBA. It is a completely different game. Look at the possession and pace the teams in the 50s, 60s and 70s played. All their stats are inflated because of that. This is not to take away anything from them, they were amazing players, but there was no defense played then.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    This dude’s been funny since forever. He and Popovich are both hilarious. IMO the Spurs are the most likable team in the NBA.

  • LLC#12

    and Kobe? I’m not a huge Kobe fan, its just nowadays its odd to see people put him outside their top 5, so I’m just wondering where you have him. I agree with you mostly, but I’m not sure I’d put Tim over Larry.

  • pposse

    Hakeem was a better two way post player

  • ChosenOne

    Bird wasn’t an awful defender by any means. And LeBron hasn’t surpassed Kobe yet. I would have both Larry and Kobe ahead of Duncan to be honest.

  • Max

    It’s more about timing than hops.

  • RKJ92

    The only thing Kobe has on LeBron is rings please don’t start this.

  • http://twitter.com/AjpDos Allen Powell

    Hakeem was better on both sides of the ball in my opinion but I respect your opinion for Duncan’s longevity.

  • bike

    The secret, says Pop with a twinkle in his eye, is quality rest time.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Bird was not an awful defender.
    .
    And you forgot Kareem, Russell, Chamberlain.

  • Monkeyball

    If you only count post-1980 players, Jordan, Magic, Bird, Kobe, and Shaq all had better careers than Duncan. Pick any measure: rings, finals and conf. finals appearances, stats, MVPs (Kobe and Shaq, admittedly, have 1 to TD’s 2), impact on the game. Lebron will get there too.

    I would also probably pick Hakeem as a franchise centerpiece over Duncan, but if you’re looking for a second-best player, then definitely TD over Dream.

  • whooo!

    I really don’t think it’s easy to say that guys like Kobe/Shaq had better careers at all levels — look at their stats & accomplishments and it’s very even, give or take a bit for each player. Only player to start off his career w/ 13 straight years of all-nba and all-defense; 14 time all-star; 4 rings; 3 finals mvp’s; 2 season mvp’s.

    From his impact on the team, they’ve never missed the playoffs, won 50+ every single year he’s been in the league (except 99′s lockout), and the highest winning percentage in all 4 pro sports. And he did this never playing with a top-5 teammate (Parker was 2nd team all-nba one year; Parker/Manu/D-Rob had some yrs of 3rd-team all-nba, all in different years). Can’t say that about MJ/Bird/Magic/Shaq/Kobe.

    And this doesn’t even start to consider the clutch moments in big games — like the 20/20/10/8 game to close out Game 6 of the Finals in 03, or battling the Wallaces in Game 7 in ’05; amongst other monster performances in the playoffs.

  • RedRum

    Kobe over TD??? no way. TD has 4 rings as 1A player, Kobe has two as 1A
    (the other three he was 1B, Shaq was 1A). Hakeem was probably a better
    scorer, and although a very good one on one defender, not great in help
    defense. TD is a legit 7 footer, in Hakeem (believe it or not) is barely
    6-10. TD impacts the defense by his smart positioning in help defense
    and size, something that Hakeem did not do. I have seen both play live
    (and MJ). MJ and TD had the same attributes. They were essentially coaching the team in defense from the court, they would not stop calling the picks, directing the defense, it is something amazing to watch. Hakeem was not like that. He would do his job, but would not essentially anchor the defense. These are intangibles that you can only appreciate if you see them play live.

    Regarding Bird. I know this is controversial, but look at the numbers. TD even past Bird in total points this year (not that it matters much). Bird is a basketball genius, but he had the pleasure to play in great teams with Mac and the Chief in the frontcourt. Look, I know Bird is in the pantheon of top players ever, because of his rivalry with Magic during the 80s and because he truly is a great player. But in terms of what he brings to the team, I would take Duncan over Bird. Duncan beat the Kobe-Shaq teams 4 times in order to get to the rings. Plus TD never had a buddying superstar, Robinson was at the end of his career, and Manu/Parker, although great, never really superstars. I think that if TD had Kobe, given how competitive and prepared they both were, they could have had a 6-8 year dynasty.

  • LakeShow

    Crazy.

  • RedRum

    Bird was an awful defender, even his biggest fanboy Simmons concedes that. He was always in a good position to make a steal, or bother the offense a bit. But in no way he was a factor defensively. I

    did not forget Kareem, Russell and Chamberlain. It is just that they were in their prime when basketball was essentially a very different game, and all were one-dimensional, Kareem/Wilt in offense and Russell in D. It is very possible that in today’s league, given the need for the bigs to be defensive anchors, Wilt and Kareem could be two-way players, but it is unlikely, you still see offensive jagernauts (Melo, Griffin, Shaq) that are below average defensively.

  • RedRum

    What very few people understand it that it is very difficult to be a
    two-way player, physically and mentally. And I strongly believe that
    this should be a skill that should be considered as evidence of a
    superstar, and of a player who wants to be in the top5. My perception is
    that Duncan is the best two-way player since MJ.

  • http://www.facebook.com/evan.boland Evan Boland

    Bird was absolutely not a defensive liability. Nor SHAQ. Dude had 10 blocks multiple times. Do your homework son.

  • http://www.facebook.com/evan.boland Evan Boland

    81? 9 straight 40′s? Clutch? Longevity? Mental toughness? One franchise? Dunk champion? 61 at the Garden?

  • Drig

    I’d say Kareem, who was still damn effective in the 80s would’ve decimated teams in his prime. And an aging Wilt put up a strong fight vs a prime Kareem which would imply that he’d have been Shaqesque in today’s L in his prime. Their stats are inflated but slighting their skills because of the era is just as misleading.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=509819249 Gaurav P.

    Those aren’t really relevant to the overall comparison IMO, you’re just naming off his greatest moments. I’m sure RK could do the same for Lebron. Besides the rings, there is a pretty big disparity between Lebron and Kobe when it comes to actual production through their careers – Lebron has huge advantage in terms of stats.

    In terms of Duncan/Kobe, I would have Kobe ahead simply for his sustained production, but Duncan was the better player (overall) during their respective primes due to his two-way presence.

  • Drig

    Actually, Kobe was a solid #2 in the first title, a 1B in the 2nd and 1A in the 3rd till the Finals.

  • http://www.dzfoot.com/ Matt Harpring’s Haircut

    This will not sound crazy .. you’re missing Kobe in your list

  • http://www.dzfoot.com/ Matt Harpring’s Haircut

    As things stand, Kobe has accomplished much more than Lebron has. I don’t doubt that Lebron will overtake him in the long run but you never now what can happen in the future.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=509819249 Gaurav P.

    Shaq was in no way “below average” defensively. Yes, maybe compared to someone like Mutumbo or Mourning, but Shaq had a huge impact on the defensive end.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Where does Simmons concede that? I would love to see actual proof of this.

    .

    And no, he’s not an awful defender. That is blatant ignorance.

    .

    - How can you be an “awful” defender, while having a better defensive rating than Michael Jordan – Scottie Pippen – Kobe Bryant – Michael Cooper (to name a few) – http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=pippesc01&y1=2004&p2=jordami01&y2=2003&p3=birdla01&y3=1992&p4=coopemi01&y4=1990&p5=bryanko01&y5=2013

    - How can you be an “awful” defender, while making (3) all defensive teams?

    - How can you be an “awful” defender, while being in the top 25 ever in defensive win shares?

    – See, the main thing people don’t realize about Bird is that he is probably top 5 ever team defensive SF’s in league history. He was always the smartest player on the floor, and his intelligence and size allowed him to do things defensively that many guys just couldn’t. Here is a video that highlights what i mean, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7Ixy8Uttq0

    —> maybe people like you don’t know how good Bird was defensively because you didn’t watch closely? or because you thought, since McHale was consistently put on the better offensive player between the two that Bird was a bad defender?

    .

    And that isn’t even the most ridiculous part of your comment,

    - “did not forget Kareem, Russell and Chamberlain. It is just that they were in their prime when basketball was essentially a very different game, and all were one-dimensional, Kareem/Wilt in offense and Russell in D”

    — Kareem is the ALL TIME leader in blocks. Kareem was on 11 all defensive teams.

    —- Kareem is SECOND in Defensive Win Shares, EVER.

    .

    And Wilt? – you really called Wilt Chamberlain a 1-way player? that is just stupid, i’m not even going to address it. read a f*cking book.

    . you really really really don’t know what you are talking about.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    this guy has no idea what he’s talking about.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    you spelt Ignorant wrong.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    no, Kobe was 2(almost irrelevant) in 2000, 2 (good enough to be a bad playoff teams #1) in 2001, and 2 (good enough to be a good teams #1) in 2002.
    .
    he was never Shaq’s equal. Not even kinda.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    what you wrote about Hakeem as a help defender is ignorant. i mean it’s incredibly ignorant, you should just can your opinion and read for a while. you look stupid.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=509819249 Gaurav P.

    I’m giving you a thumbs up because of your name alone. I’m thinking of changing my name to “Jeff Hornacek’s haircut”

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Look down a little lower, he says Hakeem was “never an anchor for a defense” and he was a “poor help defender”

    .

    stop respecting his opinion.

  • Conor

    Jackson, Rambis, and Tex Winter all preferred the E-Y-E test to the Stats Test. I tend to agree.

    You do realize that Pop acknowledged that Bryant was the best player the NBA had seen since Jordan, right?

  • TR

    Bird’s defense just got worse as he got older and more injured so I guess you could say in the first half of his career he was a good defender, but in the end he just didn’t have it

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    WHO DOES?

  • RayJr

    You must live in San Antonio. Only Spurs fans talk like this.

  • Sparker

    Okay, let’s look at the numbers. Bird was second team all-defense three times, was top 10 in steals 3 times and was top 10 in defensive rebounds 9 times. (Magic was top 10 in steals for five seasons, and is 17th all-time). In 1979-80, the Celtics were 61-21, he was Rookie of the Year and 4th in MVP voting. Neither McHale or Parrish were on that team, and the year before Boston was 29-53.

  • ChosenOne

    Not trying to nit-pick, but Olajuwon is the All time leader in blocks. Kareem is third. Just saying..

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    oh sh!t that deserved to be nit picked. i knew that too.
    .
    Olajuwan is up on 2nd place (Mutombo right?) by like 500+ blocks.
    .
    500+ blocks, that’s how good of a help defender Olajuwan was.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Junior-Taylor/100003121138419 Junior Taylor

    In my opinion..the guy is one of the 5 greatest 2-way players of all-time right up there with Kareem, MJ, Wilt and LeBron.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    J…………………..you are missing someone.

  • ChosenOne

    Yeah around 500 more than him. Although I can’t help but think that if they recorded blocks from the start, then Russell and Wilt would surely be at the top and ahead of Olajuwon by a large margin. But yeah, Hakeem was a great help defender.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    oh definitely. I’ve heard speculation that those two averaged no less than 6BPG during their careers. but they also were facing 6’9″ Centers who worked at Gas Stations in the off-season.

  • LakeShow

    Little soon to put LeBron on that list.
    He only has 3 seasons of elite defense and offense. Reason why I take exception is
    you left Hakeem off.

  • LakeShow

    I take exception to your terminology.

    21 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 on 44% fg’s isn’t exactly “irrelevant”.

    Seeing as how the next two biggest contributors were Glen Rice with 12.2 ppg and Rick Fox at 10 ppg.

    Drig never said he was, or kind of was, Shaq’s equal. Just that he was playing good enough to be called the man on the team for a good portion of the 2002 title.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i was strictly talking about in winning the title. Not in terms of regular season success. Kobe was immensely important in every regular season. But as the playoffs came around, his value dropped to what i said in the above comment.

    .

    2000 NBA finals, http://www.basketball-reference.com/playoffs/NBA_2000_finals.html

    . 15 – 4 – 4 on 36% shooting, is pretty close to irrelevant compared to what Shaq was doing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Junior-Taylor/100003121138419 Junior Taylor

    Pippen? Russell? Those guy were great defensively but didn’t dominate the offensive side of the ball. Ignore what I just said……Hakeem. Can’t believe he skipped my mind.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    and yes Drig did say that. That’s what 1B means.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    LOL!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Junior-Taylor/100003121138419 Junior Taylor

    Explain to me how LeBron has “only” put up 3 seasons of elite offense when he has put up ORtgs of 122 or higher 3 times in the last 6 seasons and in the other 3 seasons had a 116 or higher ORtg? By the way…Kobe has never had an ORtg higher than 115 in his entire career.

  • LakeShow

    Oh did I not put defense and offense together in the same sentence?
    Oh I did…
    Offensive rating is a cute little stat. I like it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Junior-Taylor/100003121138419 Junior Taylor

    Also…since the 08/09 season…he has been an elite perimeter/help defender.

  • LakeShow

    1B means not as good – but just as important as 1A – in my thought process.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Just as important, would make him an equal. Don’t over think it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Junior-Taylor/100003121138419 Junior Taylor

    Of course, you don’t like ORtg because it disproves your statement. cute……

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    Yes, I missed that. His opinion is null and void. Thanks for the heads up.

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    Damn. Never seen those numbers before on Kobe. He did win that one game when Shaq fouled out though. You have to give him credit for that, and it was a HUGE win.

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    If you’re list doesn’t included Hakeem, you ain’t doing it right.

  • LakeShow

    Not to me.

    Is the MVP always the best player?

    Example: I would call James Worthy a 1B in his MVP finals.

    KB was as important because they wouldn’t have done the task at hand without him, but not as good a player because he wasn’t as dominant.

    That’s my perspective anyway.
    #2 works also lol.

    1B is a nice sugar coat for us KB fans I suppose.

  • LakeShow

    Oh definitely. In the actual finals series he was pretty irrelevant.

  • LakeShow

    Nope… It’s just because I don’t like over-glorifying Tyson Chandlers offensive game.

  • Ugh

    Have you ever watched Larry Bird play defence? I mean actually watched it?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    I did forget that game 4 was in 2000 and not 2001 (again I mix up parts of those years). So he was definitely not completely irrelevant, he was sporadically relevant. Lol

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Totally forgot that was in 2000 and not 2001. My bad you are completely right.

  • http://www.facebook.com/evan.boland Evan Boland

    LeBron was the go to guy for his team since day one. Kobe didn’t play his first season, was a 6th man in the second season, and was the second option for the next 6. No shit his stats are worse. Dude woulda probably averaged over 33 ppg multiple times had he had a team built with him as the number one option. I point out 9 straight 40′s because it would have been regular for him had he not been with the most dominant center of all-time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Junior-Taylor/100003121138419 Junior Taylor

    Okay….how about the fact that he has improved his FG% 6 straight seasons or that he has ranked Top 3 in Offensive Win Shares that last 6 seasons.

  • LakeShow

    You act like I said something against him.
    All I said was, he has [currently] just 3 seasons of being a GREAT defender AND offensive player.
    Which I felt didn’t warrant him being placed on the all time great two way players list.

  • RKJ92

    oh i’m deff including the future

  • RKJ92

    and your a Kobe nut hugger, don’t worry bro you dont have to say another word 5 rings, and he’s your e-y-e test hero I already know.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Junior-Taylor/100003121138419 Junior Taylor

    Looks like you just glazed over what I wrote. I talked about him being at the top of the Offensive win shares list for the last 6 seasons and him being an elite defender for the last 4 seasons but hey…let’s just ignore that and babble on. By the way….I made a mistake by including LeBron in my Top-5 greatest two-way players list. It should have been Hakeem instead. So in a way I agree with you :(

  • http://www.facebook.com/rainman1991 Saleem Rainman

    forgot about Kareem…

  • http://www.facebook.com/rainman1991 Saleem Rainman

    we’re talking all time…LeBron has not passed Kobe on anyones all time list my man. No matter how Anti Kobe they are

  • http://www.dzfoot.com/ Matt Harpring’s Haircut

    It was a toss up between honouring two greats, Matt Harpring or Pat Garrity. In the end, Harpring’s swag won me over.

  • http://www.dzfoot.com/ Matt Harpring’s Haircut

    But you never know what’s going to happen in the future. I mean it’s unlikely but Lebron can get a major injury and a lose his freakish athleticism. Look at Dwight Howard, I mean he’s still putting up impressive numbers but he’s far from the days of averaging 23 and 14.

  • TR

    Thats my point. He just got old and hurt. i’m not saying he was bad on D.

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  • RedRum

    I have seen both play live. Have you? I am telling you that what Duncan does for the defense Hakeem never did. Both in terms of positioning, but also with his communication, he literally directs the defense from the court. Just by his size only, Duncan bothers offense more, Duncan is a legit 7 footer, Hakeem is barely 6-10.

  • RedRum

    I am actually not even american, I am Greek, living in the UK, do not even support the Spurs. But I have played ball for under-18 national level in greece, never made it pro as I blew my ACL when 17, 20 years ago this injury was career stopping. I am recreationally coaching here. I have seen live game of Magic, Bird, MJ, Hakeem, Kobe, Shaq, Duncan, I have been watching and playing ball for more than years (I am in my late 30s). I am a fan of the game, and try not to have any bias. But with whatever basketball knowledge I have I think I can appreciate the game and certain players. And what I see is that Duncan is the best two-way player since MJ. Again, Duncan does things on the court that cannot be quantified by stats and numbers. The way he moves the defense with his playcalling is nothing short of amazing. Only MJ did this as well.

  • RedRum

    Bird made 3 second All NBA teams, not first.

    Barkley said: “As long as Bird is around I will only be the second-worst defensive player in basketball.”

    Say whatever you want, but Larry was a terrible defender, Simmons discussed it with Larry himself in a podcast while ago.

    I have seen Bird play in the Garden. I have seen Duncan play as well. If you are trying to compare those two defensively then you really need to watch some ball without fanboy goggles.

  • RedRum

    Block are not an indication of help defense. You obviously have not played or coached any ball. Duncan did something that no one has ever done better. Taking away the driving lane. And he did it either by correctly instructing the guard in front of him to take correct close out positions, or by quickly closing out himself, stopping the penetration and distructing the offence. These are intangible skills, not measured by any stats, but anyone who knows how to play ball in a structured way can see them.

  • RedRum

    In response to @disqus_rOeXXBD2qs:disqus and others who measure defense by blocks and have noted that Hakeem and Kareem have more blocks than Duncan. Blocks are one measurement, which is in truth sort of irrelevant with the defensive efficiency of a player. Because no defense is structured in such a way to force a block. Most defensive systems are structured to take away the drive to the hoop, protect the rim, and force long 2s from bad spots.

    Duncan did something that no one has ever
    done better. Taking away the driving lane. And he did it either by
    correctly directing the guards in front of him to take correct close
    out positions, or by quickly closing out himself, stopping the
    penetration and disrupting the offense. At the same time he would make the call for the rotation player to pick up his man that his left in order to close out, and would be very quick to return back to his man after the drive was taken away. At the same time if there was a shot, with his length he would bother it, while not forget he would be one the league’s top blockers. These are intangible skills,
    not measured by any stats, but anyone who knows how to play ball in a
    structured way can see them. What Duncan has done for post defense is so underrated only because it cannot be quantified, you can only pick it up by seeing him play live, hearing him how he directs the defense.

    now… there are also other very good defenders. But the all-around defensive impact that Duncan has cannot be matched. He directs, the defense, plays help, plays great one on one, blocks. One of his least recognised skills is the outlet pass after the rebound, it is a thing of beauty.

    As I explained elsewhere, I am not an SA resident, I am not even a US resident, I don’t even support the Spurs, in truth I do not support any team. I just like seeing great ball and try to assess it without bias. In my eyes, TD is the best two-way player since MJ, whatever that means and wherever it puts him in ranking for the all time greats.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    What are you talking about? You said Bird was awful. He wasn’t. This has nothing to do with Duncan. .
    He wasn’t a good individual defender 1 on 1 (as I said, they put McHale on the better individual) but he was a good team defender. Very good.

  • RedRum

    I agree. I am not slighting their skills in any way. If Oscar was playing today we would be something between Lebron-MJ, Wilt would be Shaq etc. However, go watch the tapes from the 60s and 70s games. no one played any defense. Only Russell. This is the reason we cannot directly compare them with the players of the last 20 years, because since the early 80s D became the the first thing winning teams have to implement. The addition of the 3-point line also completely changed the game as well and how teams put together their defenses.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Do some research, you are ignorant.
    .
    And by saying what you think this proves about how much basketball I’ve played, it’s pretty clear you aren’t actually equipped to make an intelligent argument. So I will just reiterate, .
    You are ignorant. Do some research.

  • RedRum

    I have seen both play live. There is no comparison. Duncan is the best help defender the game has ever seen, Hakeem is a very good defender.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Russell. Without seeing Russell play you can’t make a blanket statement like that. .
    And I’ve seen them both live too. And deep in the playoffs.
    .
    And I never disputed your belief that Duncan was superior (that’s your belief, keep it). I disputed you saying Hakeem was a poor help defender. Which is blatantly false and completely ignorant (or stupid). You don’t win DPOY. You don’t block more shots then any player ever, with 500 more than second place (blocks happen off of helping for Centers more than it does on their man – so yes, blocks show something about his abilities as a help defender). You definitely don’t win back2back titles if your 40mpg Center isn’t a good help defender. .
    Personally I have Russell and then Hakeem/Duncan tied on the all time defensive big man list. I don’t care if you disagree, but don’t say something stupid like Hakeem was a poor help defender.

  • RedRum

    what are YOU talking about?? You say he was a bad 1 on 1 defender, but a good team defender. how does that make any sense??? If you guard someone and you loose him every time you guard him, how are you a good team defender? You force your defense to start closing in and rotating, which opens up shots and leads to defensive break downs.

    He indeed had an eye for the passing lane and for the charge, and maybe in clutch he would put a bit more effort, but as Chuck said as well, Bird was widely considered as one of he worse defenders in the league when he was playing. Maybe you are young and you have not seen him play much . His three SECOND TEAM (not first as you said) inclusions was because of his steals. Sorry but I am loosing respect for you matey, you are clueless… have you ever played ball in any serious level?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Man. Nobody used just blocks to make their point. We used them to support the argument.
    .
    And so did you,

    - ” He directs, the defense, plays help, plays great one on one, blocks. ”
    .
    You are being a hypocrite. And now that I know you don’t even live in the states, and are basing your entire opinion on what you’ve seen just in person.. Do you think your opinion really holds more water than a person who has seen each in person, in the playoffs, watched the majority of their careers on television, and have studied specifically the NBA and its players extensively, while having plenty of playing experience (20 years, coached & competitive)…..really?
    .
    You are making these completely and blatantly wrong statements on players based on minimal personal exposure and some words in the media….your argument against Hakeem and other players accompanies absolutely zero facts or concrete supporting evidence. I’d say get off your high horse, but you apparently are not even aware that you are ontop of one.

  • RedRum

    No actual reply, just insults. Sorry mate, I am done replying to you. You obviously belong to the Skip Bayless school of basketball analysis, no actual knowledge of the game, no insight, just yapping and insulting, regurgitating generalisations and cliches. Do you put your game face on when you watch basketball? Do you think that the Heat won because “they wanted it more”. Do you even know what a defensive rotation is? Sorry mate, you are absolutely clueless, I came here to have some intelligent discussion, even arguments. But you are a nasty piece of work, the typical uninformed bozo who knows basketball from what SLAM and the ESPN muppets regurgitate. Take care

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    You are a coach, and you don’t understand what a good team defender is? Bird was bad on the ball. He was a bad one on one defender. Off the ball he was great. He was a great team defender. (You are guarding the team – your player, redirecting cutters, hedging picks, talking to the man on the ball, you know as a coach, all the things you ask guys to do when they aren’t guarding the ball….right? Coach?) .
    I hate to break it to you, but it sounds like your playing experience and coaching expertise is equal to what we get at the varsity level in our high schools.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Sorry to offend you. Ignorance isn’t an insult. It means you think you know but you don’t. Which you just proved about the English language as a whole.

  • RedRum

    Oh dear… oh dear… Hate to break it to you, but Bird was not a good one 1 defender, neither a good “team defender” doing the things you describe. Chief and Mac did most of these. He was a below average 1 on 1 defender and an average “team defender” (this terms is not accurate, but use it for the shake of you understanding what we are talking about). Thus, all in all, apart from the eye for the steal, charge, a weak close in and Bird was actually a pretty bad defender. You obviously have not watch him play much, right? As I said elsewhere, I am done replying to you, the more I read your posts the more I think I am talking to Skip Bayless… take care

  • RedRum

    Ignorance is not an insult, calling someone ignorant is, you should know that Noam Chomsky of the SLAM forums, Skip Bayless of the SLAM comment. Take care Skip. Go put your game face on.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Loooool, no sir.

    - “Ignorant
    Adjective
    Lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated. Lacking knowledge, information, or awareness about something in particular: “ignorant of astronomy”.”

  • RedRum

    so next time someone calls you ignorant feel happy, shake his hand and thank him for the enlightenment. Goodnight Skip, you are obviously loosing the plot

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk
  • RKJ92

    Your a Kobe nut hugger I can’t take what you say seriously, like at all.

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  • Caboose

    Let’s just settle it.
    Duncan better than Kobe:
    -Defense
    -More dominant prime
    -1 more Finals MVP
    -1 more MVP
    -Uninterrupted team success
    -Immediate contribution
    -Team leader
    Kobe better than Duncan:
    -Scoring
    -Longevity
    -1 more Ring
    -Offensive versatility
    -Work ethic
    -More memorable games
    Take your pick as to which is more meaningful to you. I’ll take the top one for sure, but hey, if PPG and ring count are more important, pick Kobe. No sweat.

  • Drig

    I love Tim and all but to say Tim is gonna be someone’s first choice easily after MJ without even considering the likes of Shaq, KAJ, Wilt, Hakeem, Magic, Bird is foolish. I could understand not selecting Kobe or any other perimeter player for that matter since post players have traditionally had a greater say in the outcome of games but claiming Hakeem is any worse than Duncan is BS.

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    Boss, I watched Hakeem closely. There is nothing Duncan does defensively that Hakeem did not do. I’m not sure how much you watched the 1994 Rockets team, but the list of superstars who have done more for a team than Hakeem did for that team in getting them a championship doesn’t exist. On both sides of the ball. When Kenny Smith and Vernon Maxwell are your starting guards one year, and Clyde Drexler, Kenny Smith and Sam Cassell split time the next year, and you still are great defensively, then you have an outstanding defensive anchor. Period.

  • RayJr

    Oh wow I was WAY off lol. I get your point. I live in Texas and Spurs fans think Duncan is a living god and place him above anyone thats ever played. With you putting Duncan right behind MJ as far as best 2 way player, I could’ve swore you were in San Antonio.

  • i_ball

    The whole “all time” thing is kind of stupid to me. You can’t really say “this are the five best players of all time”.
    Is Timmy the best two player ever? Maybe… You can’t really say.

    I just want to see some “nasty” during the playoffs! Who knows Timmy might catch on Kobe’s rings

  • http://www.facebook.com/rainman1991 Saleem Rainman

    LOL what? im a Kobe nuthugger? i have debated AGAINST Kobe many a times when the pro kobe arguments were ridiculous…u on the otherhand seem to always be on LeBrons jock EVERYTIME this Kobe vs LeBron conversation comes around, whereas i usually dont get involved…so is it fair for me to call you a LeBron Nutt hugger, or d!ck rider? Get a clue man…

    And again, what i said was not at all untrue. All time, i dont think ud find anyone that at THIS stage, with Kobe playing 17 years and Bron playing his what? 9th season?, putting Bron ahead of Kobe on an all time list. Of course, other than you though. :) *cough*

  • JL

    I do like Hakeem’s game alot more. It’s more fun to look at. However, you can’t discount Duncan’s champsionships. But I guess Jordan and Magic got in the Dream’s way a few times. When are we going to get another Hakeem? Or Shaq? or any of those dominant centers? Nowadays they just want to shoot 3′s.

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