Tim Duncan announces retirement after 19 seasons, 5 titles with Spurs

Duncan retires as franchise leader in scoring, rebounds, blocks, games played

SAN ANTONIO – Tim Duncan has decided to retire from the NBA after an illustrious 19-year career with the San Antonio Spurs.

The news of Duncan's retirement was posted Monday morning on the San Antonio Spurs official website.

Duncan led the Spurs to five NBA championships over the span of three decades as he became an iconic figure in the Alamo City.

He is the only player in league history to start and win a title in three different decades. Duncan was named Finals MVP for three of those titles. 

Duncan retires as the franchise’s all-time leader in scoring, rebounds, blocks, minutes and games played. 

The Spurs have enjoyed unprecedented success since they drafted Duncan first overall in 1997.

The Spurs posted a 1,072-438 record over Duncan's career, the best 19-year winning stretch in the NBA and all of the major U.S. sports leagues. San Antonio has made the playoffs every year since Duncan arrived.

Duncan quickly became an impact player in the NBA, teaming with David Robinson to form the Spurs "Twin Towers" in the late 90s.

Duncan began to dominate as the league's premier low post player in the early 2000s and won back-to-back league MVP awards in 2002-03.

He began to take a different role within the Spurs offense toward the end of his career, passing the torch to Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard.  

Duncan was instrumental in the team's back-to-back NBA Finals appearances in 2013-14 that culminated with his final championship.

Even as his offensive output declined, Duncan remained a vital part and the backbone of the Spurs defense. 

Duncan's willingness to be coached by Gregg Popovich and his financial sacrifices for the Spurs allowed the franchise to remain competitive as other West powers such as the Lakers, Mavericks and Suns were forced to rebuild.

His bond on the court with teammates Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili is unmatched.

Parker, Ginobili and Duncan own the NBA record for most wins by a trio in both the regular season (575) and the postseason (126).

Duncan and Popovich have the most wins by a player-coach duo in NBA history (1,001) and the Spurs forward finishes his career in San Antonio as one of just three players in NBA history, along with John Stockton and Kobe Bryant, to spend 19 seasons with one franchise.

Duncan leaves the game as a 15-time NBA All-Star and a lock for the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame.

He was also named to an All-NBA team 15 times in his career and an All-NBA Defensive team 15 times as well.

Duncan averaged 19 points, nearly 11 rebounds, three assists and two blocks per game over his career.

There will never be another Spurs player like Tim Duncan. He embodied the city of San Antonio and was the definition of the "Spurs way."

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issues statement regarding Tim Duncan's retirement announcement:

“Tim Duncan is one of the most dominant players in NBA history.  His devotion to excellence and mastery of the game led to five NBA championships, two regular-season MVP awards and a place among the all-time greats, while his understated selflessness made him the ultimate teammate.  For two decades Tim represented the Spurs, the city of San Antonio and the league with passion and class.  All of us in the NBA family thank him for his profound impact on the game.”


About the Author:

RJ Marquez has been at KSAT since 2010. He's covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area, and is the lead reporter for KSAT Explains. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms. You can see RJ regularly on KSAT Explains and Good Morning San Antonio. He also writes a weekly Spurs newsletter.