SAN ANTONIO – (Wire Service Report – Special to Digital Sports Desk) – 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 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.
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. 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).