On June 25, 1997, the San Antonio Spurs had the pleasure of choosing Wake Forest standout Tim Duncan as the first pick of the NBA Draft. Duncan played his entire career with the Spurs, winning 5 NBA titles, being named Finals MVP during three of those championships.
Duncan was the Rookie of the Year during his inaugural season and back-to-back NBA MVP in the 2002 and 2003 seasons. There are so many more accolades that adorn the resume of #21, but this article isn’t about the accomplishments of The Big Fundamental, but rather the importance of the draft.
Duncan is one of the rare examples in the modern NBA that drafted #1 and maintained relevant throughout his career, spanning 19 seasons. Everyone should be so lucky.
Number one drafts like Duncan and LeBron James live up to the hype of their position. But many like Derrick Rose, Andrew Bogut, and Anthony Bennett fall short of the honor.
As the Spurs have proven time and again, a good draft choice can be all the difference, and sometimes it matters not where in the draft you actually pick.
This summer, the Spurs will be drafting in the #18 position, their highest since acquiring Timothy Theodore Duncan.
Each day we will revisit the subsequent draft year since 1997 and discuss what the Spurs did in that particular draft and where those particular players are now.
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