The Misunderstanding Of The Greatest Power Forward: Tim Duncan

Matthew FrankContributor IAugust 4, 2010

SAN ANTONIO - APRIL 23:  Tim Duncan #21 of the San Antonio Spurs in Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on April 23, 2010 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Tim Duncan receives the ball to the side of the key, close to the baseline.  He turns to face the basket and nails the shot as it kisses off the backboard.  Typical Duncan.  Same, boring, Tim Duncan.

For the past ten years Tim Duncan has been the most consistent player in the NBA.  However, when the Spurs show up on television, we can't help but to sink into boredom and look for another game.  Because of this recurring situation, the media and fans have underrated (and pretty much forgotten about) the greatest power forward in the history of the NBA.

The curious thing about the lack of Timmy's support is that his career numbers and performances are through the roof...twice.  The guy has averaged 21.1 PPG-11.6 RPG- 3.2 APG with .508 FG% throughout his career, and an even better 23 - 12.4 - 3.5 with .502 FG% in the playoffs.

More importantly he is a 4x champion, 2x MVP, 3x Finals MVP, 13x All-Defensive Player (8 1st), and a 13x All-NBA Player (9 1st).

If those accolades don't jump out and give you a well deserved slap, then wrap your head around the fact that this past year Duncan was in the top 15 in blocks, rebounds, double-doubles, and top 20 in FG%.  The dude is 34 by the way.

So why are Duncan's achievements overshadowed so much?  Well I'll tell you. Actually better yet, why don't you do something for me real quick.  Sit back and try and think of Tim Duncan's 10 Greatest moments. Give it time. Okay, what did you come up with? Nothing? Of course nothing. Because Tim Duncan has no great moments and is boring, right?

Wrong! I just dismissed the great moment argument above; but if you need more proof, how about his near quadruple-double (21-20-10-8) in Game 6 of the 2003 Finals.

As far as the boring aspect, yes Duncan is nicknamed the " Big Fundamental" for a reason and shoots the same bank shot over and over again.  But you need to take a deeper look into the perception.  Duncan comes off boring to us because he is so consistent.

Duncan is uniformly great, but not in the same way that Michael was or Kobe is.  He is not flashy, nor does he make plays that everyone else in the world can't.  Instead, he simply goes about his business with determination and competitiveness of the highest regard.  He purposely stays relaxed and inanimate so that opponents don't take advantage of his emotions.  We as observers grow tired of Duncan dishing out double-doubles daily because he is not committing high flying dunks or deep threes, hence we take him for granted.

Tim is also not a fan of the limelight, which does not sit well with an American public that likes glamor and dunk highlights on ESPN.

These preconceived notions that we have of Duncan blind us from seeing his true killer instinct and competitive nature.  They shadow the fact that he has been one of the two best players (Kobe) of the last decade, as well as the best player on four championship teams.  And that his basketball I.Q. is astronomical and makes teammates better by playing with him; let alone fans smarter by watching him.

So next time you catch Tim Duncan bank another shot through the net, don't turn the channel.  Instead, keep watching, and witness greatness in its finest form...or at least lie to me and say you did.