SLAMonline Top 50: Tim Duncan, no. 3

by October 25, 2008
47

by Russ Bengtson

Tim Duncan is a better basketball player than you think he is.

Go ahead. Read that again.

Tim Duncan is a better basketball player than you think he is.

SLAMonline Top 50: Tim Duncan, no. 3I offer that statement with no qualifiers. No matter how good you think Tim Duncan is, he’s better. Even if you think he’s the best basketball player who ever lived—well, OK, maybe he’s not better than that. So there’s one qualifier. Happy now? Sheesh.

Here’s the thing—it’s not what Tim Duncan does do as much as what he doesn’t do. And what he doesn’t do is make mistakes. He’s not a guy who’ll produce highlights for Sportscenter (unless you like 15-foot bank shots), he won’t be appearing in SLAMadamonth anytime soon. Yet, at 32, you can count his lifetime’s worth of mistakes on one hand.

OK, two.

Three?

April 25, 1976: Tim Duncan is born 14 minutes late.

August 15, 1988: Waits half a stroke too long before the turn in the 100-meter freestyle.

January 3, 1989: Takes up Dungeons and Dragons.

June 24, 1991: Picks up his pivot foot. Twice.

November 25, 1993: Doesn’t take shot in college debut against Alaska-Anchorage. Finishes scoreless.

April 3, 1995: Gets skeleton jester tattoo.

June 28, 1995: Isn’t drafted first overall because he doesn’t enter draft.

June 26, 1996: Isn’t drafted first overall because he doesn’t enter draft.

April 4, 1998: Fouls Erick Dampier.

May 27, 2003: Fails to set alarm.

March 14, 2005: Takes gaming magazine from Lang Whitaker.

January 31, 2007: Travels.

April 15, 2007: Laughs at Joey Crawford.

February 13, 2008: Fails to pick up screen-and-roll.

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