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LeBron calls Duncan “most consistent, most dominant” player of last 15 years

Tim Duncan

San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan is interviewed during an NBA news conference, Wednesday, June 5, 2013 in Miami. The Spurs play the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Finals Thursday. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)


When you talk about the greatest player of his generation, the voting public pretty much always chooses Kobe Bryant over Tim Duncan.

LeBron James doesn’t really see it that way.

During his media session on Wednesday LeBron said Duncan has to be considered on top of that list.

“Probably one of the best players to ever play the game of basketball,” he said of Duncan. “If I just look at the last 15 years, he’s probably been the most consistent, most dominant player that we’ve had as far as 15 years all together. He’s won four titles, multiple All Stars, MVP, and so on and so on.

“I think He doesn’t get a lot of recognition because he’s not flashy like a lot of guys are. He’s not jumping over people and high flying and doing the things that attracts people to the game. But I think true basketball, true IQ people, players know how great he is. What else can you say?”

Kobe will use that as fuel in his recovery. Because he’s Kobe.

However LeBron is right. Not necessarily about best of the generation — that is at least a close discussion — but that Duncan gets overshadowed because he is just solid. While we watched Kobe adapt his game because he’s had to as his athleticism faded, Duncan’s game was always about smart choices and fundamentals — and 15-foot bank shots don’t make the SportsCenter highlights. But it counts the same as a dunk, two points.

Because of his game it seems like Duncan hasn’t aged. He hits the same shots, makes the same plays at age 37 that he did at 31 back in 2007 when they won their last title. He seems timeless.

And we need to do a better job appreciating that.