Tim Duncan, the San Antonio Spurs stalwart, has played 1,343 regular season games in his illustrious NBA career. During that period, Duncan collected 14,750 rebounds and scored 26,115 points.
Most would happily conceded that Duncan is the greatest power forward in NBA history. Some would argue that he is the greatest player of his generation. But nobody would believe that Duncan can go an entire game without collecting a solitary rebound. That’s right. During Spurs’ 104-90 defeat to the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday, Duncan made history; well, sort of. Duncan’s stat line read 6 points, 2 assists and 0 rebounds from 19 minutes on the floor. Never before in 1,343 games had Duncan finished with 0 rebounds. His teammates were shocked.
“Timmy didn’t get a board?” asked a perplexed Tony Parker.
Parker, Duncan’s longtime teammate and close friend, offered a strange explanation. “That’s because we played New Orleans,” said the point guard. “It’s always something here. For whatever reason, every time we play them, it’s a tough one. I don’t know why. That’s very rare.”
Parker’s backcourt teammate, Danny Green, was equally shocked. “Yeah, I didn’t know that. Strange things happen some nights. I’m not taking anything away from their win. But strangely, Tim didn’t get a rebound. They’re a good team. Every time we come here, we know it’s going to be a tough matchup for us,” said the two-guard.
Last year, Pelicans defeated Spurs in the season-finale to qualify for the playoffs. The defeat stung Spurs since they dropped to sixth seed and eventually lost to Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the postseason. Had Spurs beaten the Pelicans, they’d have finished the second seed.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, Karl Malone (1,457) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,431) are the only other players to have played more consecutive games (since debut) with at least one rebound.