Tim Duncan has been so good for so long, he's passing Bill Russell.
Duncan's 10th rebound of the game gave him the 786th double-double of his career, nudging him past Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell for sixth place on the all-time list. Russell did it in just 963 games, 260 fewer than Duncan.
It's an incredible accomplishment to pass Russell on any list, but Duncan will likely not find much reason to celebrate the accomplishment simply because his San Antonio Spurs fell at home 96-86 to the Chicago Bulls in the Jan. 29 game.
Timmy still tallied 17 points and a dozen boards on the evening, and if Kawhi Leonard (hand), Tiago Splitter (shoulder), Danny Green (finger) and Manu Ginobili (hamstring, per CBS Sports) weren't all injured, then 17 and 12 would probably have been good enough to win.
Tim Duncan: "We've got who we've got. So we're going to play with them."— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) January 30, 2014
Duncan has plenty of work ahead of him to move into fifth place on the all-time list. Karl Malone is his next target at 814, so Duncan probably won't get the 29 double-doubles needed this season. He's not even at 20 yet with more than half the schedule already behind him.
Then he'll have miles to go if he wants to catch the top four of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elvin Hayes, Moses Malone and Wilt Chamberlain.
|1. Wilt Chamberlain||968|
|2. Moses Malone||894|
|3. Elvin Hayes||890|
|4. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar||885|
|5. Karl Malone||814|
|6. Tim Duncan||786|
|7. Bill Russell||785|
More than 70 double-doubles separate Karl Malone and Kareem, and that alone would represent two sensational seasons of consistent scoring and rebounding. It's not out of Duncan's grasp, but it's asking a lot from the 37-year-old.
On the plus side, if he ever does reach Kareem, he'll be just 10 away from passing Moses Malone on the all-time list. Then again, in 2018 we might have flying cars, so it's a little difficult to speculate.
Congrats to Duncan for seizing sixth place on the all-time list, but I'm sure he is much more focused on the fact that Russell has 11 championships to his four.