• Kurtis Tatkenhorst

June 25- San Antonio Spurs select Tim Duncan with the #1 Pick in the 1997 NBA Draft

1997- On this day in Sports History, the San Antonio Spurs drafted Tim Duncan with the first pick in the 1997 NBA draft. Duncan would go on to have one of the best careers in NBA history. He played all 19 of his seasons with the San Antonio Spurs. He was a 15 time NBA All-Star and was named NBA MVP twice. He was also a five time NBA Champion and was named NBA Finals MVP three times. These accomplishments help show that Tim Duncan was one of the best post players in NBA history.

Andy Hayt/Getty Images

Tim Duncan grew up in the Virgin Islands where he didn’t start playing basketball till the ninth grade. Instead, he was a competitive swimmer before he turned to basketball. He played his college basketball at Wake Forest University. Duncan had a great four year career for the Demon Deacons. His senior year, he averaged 20.8 points and 14.7 rebounds for Wake Forest as they finished 24-7 and ranked in the Top 10 in the country. Tim Duncan was a consensus First-Team All-American and National Player of the Year. He was considered the best player in the draft and a lock to be the first pick.

After the Spurs finished the season 20-62, they had the second best odds heading into the 1997 NBA draft. The Boston Celtics had the best odds after finishing 15-67. The Spurs got lucky and won the first pick so they could get Tim Duncan. The Philadelphia 76er’s got the second pick and the Celtics fell to the third. Two other notable draft picks in the draft were the Celtics who picked Chauncey Billups and the Toronto Raptors who picked Tracy McGrady with the ninth pick.

Once the Spurs drafted Tim Duncan on this day in 1997, their team became instantly better. He was named Rookie of the year in 1998 after averaging 21.1 points and 11.9 rebounds a game. He was the first rookie to be selected on the All-NBA First Team since Larry Bird in 1980. The Spurs finished the 1998 season with a 56-26 record, a 36 win improvement. This was only the beginning for Tim Duncan as he’d go on to have an outstanding NBA career.


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Sources:

“Tim Duncan Stats.” Basketball Reference,

Wittry, Andy. “Tim Duncan: College Basketball Stats, Best Moments, Quotes.” NCAA.com, NCAA, 5 May 2020

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