Apart from being arguably the greatest San Antonio Spurs player of all time, Tim Duncan also made his mark on the game with his iconic yet low-key bank shot. It wasn’t fancy - if anything, it was kind of boring. However, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich knows as much as anyone it was a highly efficient shot.
The bank shot
Popovich is one of the many coaches who prefer fundamentals over pure talent. So when Duncan came up with his signature back shot, it was a match made in heaven.
For Pop, Duncan’s bank shot epitomized the importance of having sound fundamentals, but it also spoke volumes about what made Timmy a “special” player.
“That was one of the first fundamental things I think everybody noticed about him,” Popovich said of Duncan’s bank shot via The Ringer. “It was his first signature move that I think everybody realized that, you know, there’s probably something pretty special about this guy.”
Pop thinks only Curry could make his own version of Timmy’s bank shot
Duncan relied on his bank shot for the better part of his Hall of Fame career. And more often than not, he got the results he wanted. However, as the game evolved over time, a new way of scoring plagued the NBA, and Popovich acknowledged it.
According to Pop, the efficiency of the bank shot remains as is, but today’s game is largely being played outside. Players like to shoot the ball from beyond the arc and it became the league’s norm. Popovich implied that the idea of banking it from deep would sound bizarre, but the efficiency rate of the shot would be undeniable.
On the other hand, Pop also knows that no player could work on his 3-point bank shot to an efficiency rate in line with the standards of the NBA. Perhaps, Golden State Warriors sharpshooter Stephen Curry could be the only exception.
“With today’s game, shooting bank shots from 3 is probably not going to be great,” Popovich pointed out. “We live and die shooting 3s. And I don’t think anybody’s going to start practicing banking it from those distances. Maybe Steph [Curry] can do it. I don’t know that anybody else can.”
In all fairness, Popovich made a good point because Curry could really drain treys from pretty much everywhere on the court. But still, a 3-point bank shot isn’t as easy as it sounds unless Curry would want to prove us all wrong.