NBA

Tim Duncan Goes over 13,000 Career Rebounds, Nears 14th Place on All-Time List

June 2, 2012; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (21) pulls down a rebound during a playoff game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena.  Thunder defeated the Spurs 109-103 Mandatory Credit: Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports
Grant HughesNational NBA Featured ColumnistFebruary 28, 2013

With his fifth rebound against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night, San Antonio Spurs All-Star Tim Duncan became just the 15th player in NBA history to pull down 13,000 boards.

Perhaps more impressive is Duncan's combination of scoring and rebounding numbers, which only 10 other NBA players in history have matched.

There's certainly no diminishing Duncan's place in the NBA annals, but just for a little context, consider the following thought: If Duncan played another 1,000 games at this pace, he'd still fall short of Wilt Chamberlain's all-time record of 23,924 rebounds.

And Chamberlain accomplished that feat in fewer games than Duncan has played to date.

Obviously, Wilt played in a different era, and all Duncan can do is dominate the one he's in. Among his peers, only Kevin Garnett (13,745) and Shaquille O'Neal (13,099) have been better on the glass than Duncan has.

The top five spots on the all-time list may be out of reach, but given the way Duncan's been playing in his 16th year (No. 7 in PER with a rating of 24.11), there's a good chance he'll stick around long enough to move past Buck Williams, O'Neal, Garnett, Hakeem Olajuwon and Wes Unseld by next season.

Where he goes from there is harder to know, as the Spurs' and Duncan's runs will have to end eventually.

For the moment, it's worth simply celebrating just how steadily excellent the unassuming power forward has been.

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