San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan took sole possession of seventh place on the NBA's all-time blocks list Sunday, passing Shaquille O'Neal with a second quarter block of a Greg Oden shot in Sunday's 113-101 loss to the Miami Heat.
Duncan has 2,733 blocks in 1,221 career games (2.2 BPG), while Shaq retired in 2011 with 2,732 blocks in 1,207 games (2.3 BPG).
Despite the surprisingly similar numbers, Duncan and O'Neal, both four-time NBA champions, are rarely compared as players. Duncan's quiet demeanor and relatively low profile stand in contrast to O'Neal's outsized personality and household name recognition.
Duncan has spent most of his career playing power forward, and is largely known for his impact outside of the box score, while O'Neal (career 23.7 PPG) was one of the most prolific scoring centers in league history. Duncan's career mark of 11.2 rebounds per game bests O'Neal's 10.9 by a slight margin, but Duncan may relinquish that lead if he plays a few more seasons.
At the age of 37, Duncan is averaging a modest (by his own standards) 14.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks in 29.1 minutes per game this season.
Though he's no longer a threat to rank among the league's leading scorers, the Spurs' big man reached a second milestone Sunday, passing Allen Iverson for 20th place on the NBA's all-time points list. The accomplishment speaks to Duncan's longevity, as his career mark of 20.0 points per game falls well short of the retired Iverson's 26.7 points per game.