Tim Duncan is probably one of the most underrated superstars in NBA history; however, his five championships speak for themselves. Duncan epitomizes what it means to be a real winner and is one of those rare players that stayed with the same franchise for his entire career. Duncan played in six NBA finals, winning in five of them, and in a recent interview for The Ringer Podcast, he talked about his favorite and most gratifying championship he won in his career.
Even though it may sound surprising, Duncan said the championship they won against the Detroit Pistons in 2005 was the hardest by far. The Pistons won the title the year before against the Lakers and were one of the best teams in the league, playing incredible defense, often limiting their opponents to 60-70 points per game. That type of excellence on defense is something we haven’t seen in NBA ever since, and that is one of the biggest reasons why Duncan will forever remember this finals series as the most challenging one.
The most fulfilling would be against Detroit. We had to go to seven games against them, and that was probably the most nerve-wracking of the finals. It was game 7, and we were down by 15 at some point in the final game. The realization you came this far. Obviously, we do it again against the Heat, and we lost that one, which was disappointing but game seven against Detroit facing Rasheed, McDyess, and Ben Wallace, and all these big studs that are athletic and are not going to give up. Knowing we are down, getting beat down, and we just started to make this run, and it ends in a classic way, so that really stands out for me.Tim Duncan, via The Ringer Podcast
Even though the Spurs had the home-court advantage in that series, heading into game 7, Duncan knew that anything could happen when it comes to these types of games. He even admitted he was scared right before the game but ended up having a great performance with 25 points and 11 rebounds.
I can remember how it felt going into that game seven where reporters were asking before the game if we were scared. I said, yeah, this is for all the marbles. Obviously, it was a lot of fun; it ended great, so probably the most memorable one in that respect.Tim Duncan, via The Ringer Podcast
Even though many people might initially think Duncan would talk about the championship he won against the Heat in 2014, older NBA fans remember how great a team the Pistons were back in the day. They were incredibly tough, well-coached, and played like a team that Duncan saw as a real challenge, especially in game seven. Fortunately, the Spurs were a bit better in that game, and thanks to Duncan, they won that championship.