Because he's widely regarded as the best power forward in NBA history, it makes sense that San Antonio Spurs icon Tim Duncan would be asked to pick between three players who are among the very best the game has ever seen. After all, T.D. played against Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.

Former NBA player turned ESPN commentator Richard Jefferson had his former teammate on for the first episode of his own project, “The Richard & Larry Show.” One of the highlights of the interview occurred when the host asked Duncan who he'd start, bench, and cut between the “Big Fundamental's” three Hall of Fame teammates with whom he's often linked. The Spurs all-time leading scorer chose to start David Robinson, bench Manu Ginobili and cut Tony Parker. But they weren't the only NBA greats about whom Duncan was questioned.

Worth a shot

San Antonio Spurs small forward Richard Jefferson (center) talks to point guard Gary Neal (left) and center Tim Duncan (21) during the fourth quarter at The Palace. Spurs defeated the Pistons 99-95.
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Jefferson, who played for the Spurs from 2009 to March of 2012, asked Duncan to essentially rank Jordan, James and Bryant. Having answered the same question revolving around the three San Antonio legends, Duncan playfully refused to do the same for perhaps the three greatest perimeters players in NBA history.

“I will start all three of them and bench and cut myself,” Duncan replied.

The first pick of the 1997 draft's rookie season coincided with Jordan's last with the Chicago Bulls. En route to their sixth and final championship, the Bulls beat the Spurs twice that season. Jordan' final year with the Washington Wizards came the same season Duncan won his second championship (2003).

Duncan and the late Kobe Bryant famously went toe to toe in several playoff battles. In combining to win ten NBA titles in 16 seasons, the two titans met six times in the postseason (Bryant missed a 2013 first round meeting because of injury).

Similarly, Duncan and James met in three NBA Finals, including in 2013 when the Miami Heat won a memorable seven game series before the Silver and Black avenged the loss with a dominating victory in '14. The “Big Fundamental” took two of the three when you include a 2007 sweep of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Other topics discussed between Tim Duncan and Richard Jefferson

The six and half minute show covered Duncan's favorite memories over his 19-year NBA career, what he considers success after basketball and his infamous ejection in 2007 at the hands of referee Joey Crawford among a couple of other topics. The most interesting of which came when Jefferson asked, mostly in jest, if Duncan felt responsible for the “Redeem Team.”

“Yes, I believe we don't get enough credit,” Duncan lightheartedly answered, referring to the disappointing bronze medal finish for the United States National Team in the 2004 Olympics. Jefferson was also on that squad.

Following that outcome, the U.S. formed a national basketball program, which by the 2008 Summer Games featured Bryant alongside the more seasoned James, Dwayne Wade and Carmelo Anthony, the latter three having competed in '04.

Long known as a person who doesn't like to do interviews, Duncan has maintained a relationship with Jefferson, who himself won a championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.