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3 No Second Act
This is problematic because who doesn't love a narrative about redemption and vindication? But Duncan? To recap: Tall, talented young man succeeds for four years in college, goes to NBA, succeeds immediately, then continues to do so for the next 15 years. Here are the numbers.
13: Consecutive seasons to begin his career in which Duncan was named All-NBA and All-Defensive team, six more than anyone else in league history.
.702: The Spurs' winning percentage during the Duncan era, the best 15-year run by any NBA team in history.
0: Number of teams in the four major pro sports with a better winning percentage over the last 15 years than the Spurs.
It happens almost every game now, including in these playoffs, during which the top-seeded Spurs blew through the first round in four games against the Jazz: Some opposing big man throws his weight into Duncan's 36-year-old back, digs out position and then asks the question, How many more years ya got in ya?
Each night, Duncan says the same thing: "I got at least one more game."
It's worse when the young guys guard him. "Hey, I grew up watching you," they'll say, and Duncan will try to ignore the implication. He understands how this works. "Your mortality as a player is not known," he says. "You don't see the end coming."
Even his coach gets into the act. Earlier this season, when Gregg Popovich held Duncan out of a game, he gave the reason as DNP—OLD.