Bulls

A timeline of Tim Duncan's career against the Bulls

A timeline of Tim Duncan's career against the Bulls

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.

Seven years ago today LeBron James slammed the Bulls' championship window shut

lebronheat.png
AP

Seven years ago today LeBron James slammed the Bulls' championship window shut

The Bulls couldn't have known it at the time, but when LeBron James blocked a Derrick Rose 3-point attempt in the final seconds of Game 5 in the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals, it was the closest those Bulls would ever get to the promised land.

It happened on May 26, 2011, seven long, long, long years ago today.

The game was an ugly one and certainly a fourth quarter the Bulls would love to have back. They took a 12-point lead on a Ronnie Brewer 3-pointer with 3:53 remaining. The Heat closed the game on a 19-4 run, with James' emphatic block on Rose the lasting image of the series.

James finished with a game-high 28 points and 11 rebounds, and added six assists, three steals and two blocks in 46 minutes.

Rose went just 9-for-29, finishing the series shooting 35 percent from the field after being named league MVP over James.

It's probably unfair to say James and James alone shut the Bulls' championship window. Rose's ACL tear the following postseason realistically was the biggest culprit. But these Bulls had won 62 games, had homecourt advantage, had the MVP, the Coach of the Year and all the momentum. And still they couldn't get it done against James.

That win also sent James to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2007. He's been there every year since, though that could change as he faces the Celtics on Sunday in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Steve Kerr told a Michael Jordan Bulls story to give advice to Kevin Durant

Steve Kerr told a Michael Jordan Bulls story to give advice to Kevin Durant

Anyone who lived through the Michael Jordan Bulls remembers those games when he was putting up tons of points, but the Bulls were still struggling overall.

Steve Kerr referenced one of those games to give advice to Kevin Durant during Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. The TNT broadcast caught the conversation and aired it late in the third quarter.

"When MJ was with the Bulls, we had a playoff game," Kerr began the story. "He kept trying to score and he was scoring, but we weren't getting anything going. Phil Jackson said 'Who's open?' He said, 'John Paxson.'"

Paxson scored 10 of 12 points for the Bulls during a fourth quarter run in Game 5 of the 1991 NBA Finals, the series clincher, and famously hit the game-winning shot in Game 6 of the 1993 NBA Finals to clinch that series. Kerr, who later hit his own championship-winning shot on an assist from Jordan in 1997, was trying to get to get his teammates involved.

"I want to trust your teammates early," Kerr said. "What you're doing is you're getting to the rim and then you're trying to hit him. I want you to trust the first guy and then move. Still attack, still look to score, but trust these guys, OK?"

Watch the video above to see the interaction.

Durant scored 29 points in Game 5 to lead the Warriors, but Houston took a 3-2 series lead with a 98-94 win.