Tim Duncan announced his retirement on Monday after 19 seasons in the NBA. The future first ballot Hall of Famer will go down as perhaps the greatest power forward of all-time, winning five NBA titles and being named to 15 All-Star Games.
The Big Fundamental had plenty of accomplishments and milestones against the Bulls, who he faced 34 times. From 1997 to 2016, here's a timeline of some of Duncan's most memorable games against the Bulls.
November 3, 1997: Duncan made his first real headlines as a professional in the third game of his NBA career, a tilt against Michael Jordan and the Bulls. Though Chicago escaped with a four-point win in double overtime, Duncan was exceptional in the loss, scoring 19 points and matching Dennis Rodman with 22 rebounds. A Michael Jordan triple to end regulation pushed the game to overtime, with the Bulls eventually coming out on top. And despite the loss, it was a sign that Duncan, David Robinson and the Spurs were for real, taking the defending champs to the brink at the United Center. The Spurs went on to win 56 games, and would win the NBA Finals the following year.
November 26, 1999: The day after Thanksgiving, Duncan put on a masterful performance against another No. 1 overall pick. Facing rookie Elton Brand, Duncan matched a career-high with eight blocks in addition to his 23 points and 10 rebounds. Brand would later join Duncan in the Rookie of the Year fraternity, and he held his own against the defending champion with 24 points and six rebounds. But Duncan got the last laugh in their first meeting, a 23-point victory for the Spurs. A month later Duncan continued his terror on the Bulls, scoring 25 points and grabbing seven rebounds.
March 14, 2002: Duncan put together a classic Duncan line in his meeting with the Bulls in 2002. The forward went for 24 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and four blocks in 40 minutes. Those numbers may seem typical for him, but consider this: Duncan first accomplished that line or better on December 30, 1999. Since then, 16+ years, that line has been put together 33 different times. Of the 34 times a player has reached those thresholds, Duncan is responsible for 11 of them. Next closest is Shaquille O'Neal, who accomplished it 10 times in that span. To put the finishing touches on the performance and the win, Duncan made 12 of 13 free throws to make up for his 6 of 14 shooting from the field.
March 4, 2005: The Spurs needed all 31 points from Tim Duncan to avoid a disastrous home loss to the Bulls. Duncan scored 31 points, the most he would ever score against a Chicago team, including an 18-footer with 38 seconds remaining. He then hit two free throws the next trip down to put away the victory for the Spurs. San Antonio had such a big lead in the second half because of Duncan, who scored 17 points in the second quarter alone, nearly topping the Bulls' 20 as a team. He also made all seven of his free throws. Duncan and the Spurs went on to win the third of their five titles that summer.
November 7, 2005: Three years later Duncan accomplished an even more impressive feat in the Spurs' overtime victory over the Bulls. In 40 minutes, Timmy finished with 24 points, 16 rebounds, four assists and six blocks. He also shot 60 percent from the field (12-for-20) and made all six of his free throws. That line, combined with 60 percent shooting, has only been accomplished one other time in the 11 seasons since Duncan did it: Marcus Camby, a year later, with Denver. Duncan made his only shot attempt and grabbed three rebounds in overtime to lead the Spurs.
November 27, 2008: Duncan welcomed another Bulls' No. 1 overall pick to the NBA with a great performance, scoring 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting in the first half of the Spurs' win. Duncan only shot twice in the second half as the Spurs pulled away. Rose struggled in his first contest against Pop's Spurs, managing 10 points and six assists in 40 minutes.
November 18, 2010: It was just another day at the office for Duncan, who scored 16 points, grabbed 18 rebounds and handed out five assists in just 34 minutes. The Spurs won by nine, but the game was more notable for Duncan in that he tied David Robinson for most career games in Spurs history (987). Duncan, of course, blew by that total and finished his career having played in 1,392 games, more than 300 more than Tony Parker behind him.
March 8, 2015: Duncan won't want to remember this one, but it was a notable mark in his career. Duncan went 0-for-8 from the field in the Spurs' win, marking the first time in 1,310 games he had failed to record a made field goal. He managed eight rebounds, three assists and a block, and was a +7 in the 11-point win. In classic Timmy fashion, he responded two nights later with a double-double in a win over the Raptors.
March 10, 2016: In what would be Duncan's final game against the Bulls, the big man grabbed his 15,000th rebound midway through the first quarter. Duncan became the sixth player in league history to reach that milestone, joining Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elvin Hayes and Moses Malone, all NBA Hall of Famers and all-time greats. His 10.8 rebounds per game rank 22th all-time, sandwiched between Shaquille O'Neal (10.9) and teammate David Robinson (10.6). Duncan finished with just 7 points and 3 rebounds, but the Spurs got the win and Duncan added another feather to his cap.