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San Antonio Spurs to retire Tim Duncan's No. 21 jersey

By
The Sports Xchange
San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan stands on the court during the first quarter against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center in Chicago on January 22, 2015. UPI/Brian Kersey
San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan stands on the court during the first quarter against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center in Chicago on January 22, 2015. UPI/Brian Kersey | License Photo

The San Antonio Spurs will retire the No. 21 jersey of future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan, who retired in July after 19 seasons and five NBA titles.

The team announced Wednesday the ceremony will take place on Sunday, Dec. 18 when the Spurs host the New Orleans Pelicans. A special postgame event honoring Duncan will take place on the AT&T Center floor.

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Duncan will become the eighth Spurs player in franchise history to have his number raised to the rafters, joining Bruce Bowen (12), Sean Elliott (32), George Gervin (44), Avery Johnson (6), Johnny Moore (00), David Robinson (50) and James Silas (13).

Duncan and Gregg Popovich have the most wins by a player-coach duo in NBA history (1,001) and the forward finished his career in San Antonio as one of just three players in NBA history, along with John Stockton of the Utah Jazz and Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, to spend 19 seasons with one franchise.

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Duncan, selected by the Spurs as the first overall pick in the 1997 NBA Draft, posted a 1,072-438 regular-season record. The .710 team winning percentage over a 19-year stretch is the best in all of the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB over that time.

Duncan helped the Spurs reach the playoffs in each of his 19 seasons and became the only player in league history to start and win a title in three different decades. The Spurs won at least 50 games in his last 17 seasons, the longest streak in league history, and posted at least a .600 winning percentage in each of Duncan's 19 seasons -- an all-time record for most consecutive seasons with a .600 win percentage in the four major U.S. sports.

In his final season with the Spurs in 2015-16, Duncan became just the third player in league history to reach 1,000 career wins, as well as the only player to reach 1,000 wins with one team. He helped the Spurs to a franchise-best 67-15 record and also became one of two players in NBA history to record at least 26,000 points, 15,000 rebounds and 3,000 blocks in his career (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the other).

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Duncan totaled 15 All-NBA Team selections (tied for most all-time) and 15 NBA All-Defensive Team honors (most all-time), garnering both honors in the same season 15 times, the most in league history. The 1998 Rookie of the Year was named NBA MVP twice (2002, 2003) and NBA Finals MVP three times (1999, 2003 and 2005).

In his NBA career, the 15-time All-Star appeared in a total of 1,392 games and averaged 19.0 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.17 blocks in 34.0 minutes. He shot .506 from the floor and .696 from the free-throw line.

The Wake Forest graduate is the Spurs' all-time NBA leader in total points (26,496), rebounds (15,091), blocked shots (3,020), minutes (47,368) and games played (1,392), as well as third in assists (4,225). In NBA history, Duncan is fifth all-time in double-doubles (841) and blocks, sixth in rebounding and 14th in scoring.

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Duncan ranks first all-time in postseason double-doubles (164) and blocks (568), third in rebounds (2,859) and sixth in points (5,172). For his career, Duncan appeared in 251 postseason contests (second all-time) and averaged 20.6 points, 11.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 37.3 minutes while shooting .501 (1,975-3,939) from the field.

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Along with teammates Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, Duncan is part of the NBA record for most wins by a trio in both the regular season (575) and postseason (126).

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