Tim Duncan Passes Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for 1st on All-Time Playoff Minutes List

Adam Fromal@fromal09National NBA Featured ColumnistJune 13, 2014

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 12: Tim Duncan #21 of the San Antonio Spurs isolated during Game Four of the 2014 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida on June 12, 2014.  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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE  (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

Tim Duncan has been around for quite some time. 

During the second quarter of Game 4 in the 2014 NBA Finals, the legendary big man staked his claim as the most active player in the history of the postseason. Not a single man has ever spent more minutes on the court during playoff games. 

After the contest, he confirmed that he felt honored while deflecting any praise for individual accolades:

Going into Game 4, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the all-time leader, as he spent 8,851 minutes suiting up for the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers over his storied career. Duncan trailed him by 13 heading into the festivities, ones that were completely dominated by San Antonio during the first two quarters, but he went into the locker room at halftime as the new No. 1. 

Kareem offered his congratulations.

"Duncan passed Abdul-Jabbar in three fewer games, but trails the all-time leader Derek Fisher in playoff games played 233 to 259," points out Matt Moore for CBS Sports. "So Duncan played more minutes in fewer games, which shows his durability and the way the Spurs have relied upon on him during his illustrious career."

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Keep in mind that Duncan set this new record on June 12, 2014, while suiting up for his 233rd postseason contest. 

This is what he looked like on the day he began his postseason journey:

23 Apr 1998:  Tim Duncan #21 of the San Antonio Spurs dribbles the ball around a player from the Phoenix Suns during a first round playoff game at the America West Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. The Spurs defeated the Suns 102-96. Mandatory Credit: Tom Hauck
Tom Hauck/Getty Images

Duncan played in his very first playoff game on April 23, 1998. During that outing against the Phoenix Suns, he recorded 32 points and 10 rebounds on 12-of-21 shooting, so obviously not much has changed.

Well, other than players' ages, of course. 

To put that time frame in perspective, let's take a gander at Kawhi Leonard.

When Duncan was setting the record, Leonard was creating this highlight. When Duncan was playing in his very first game, the small forward who now looks like the future leader of the Spurs was only seven years old. Come to think of it, Tony Parker, who's now 32, was only 16, still four seasons away from joining the NBA. 

Chances are, Duncan won't extend his record too much more. He'd probably like to wrap this series up with only about 40 more minutes spent on the court, earning his fifth title while playing in front of his home crowd at San Antonio. 

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 12: Tim Duncan #21 and Tony Parker #9 of the San Antonio Spurs share a moment on the sidelines against the Miami Heat during Game Six of the 2014 NBA Finals on June 12, 2014 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

But he doesn't really need to rack up too many additional minutes to cement his status as the No. 1 player in terms of postseason longevity.

According to Basketball-Reference.com, Kobe Bryant is the No. 3 player on the all-time leaderboard, and he's over 200 minutes shy of Duncan. The next active player is Parker, who entered Game 4 with only 6,935 postseason minutes under his belt. 

Just add it to Duncan's already ridiculous resume. 

"I think in the last couple years I've really kind of taken a step back and stopped and enjoyed what the journey means," he recently told the Associated Press, via NBA.com.

It's been a long journey. 


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