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Spurs to retire Tim Duncan’s No. 21 jersey

The San Antonio Spurs will honor one of the greatest icons in franchise history when they retire Tim Duncan‘s jersey on Dec. 18, after they host the New Orleans Pelicans, the team announced Wednesday.

The 40-year-old Wake Forest alum retired after an illustrious 19-year NBA career that saw him as a 15-time All-Star, five-time league champion and, in the eyes of many, as the best power forward to ever play the game.

The Virgin Islands native was selected No. 1 overall by the Spurs in the 1997 NBA Draft, forever changing the scope of the franchise and turning it into the dynasty that it is today.

His relationship with head coach Gregg Popovich is one so memorable and iconic that it somewhat resembles that of Bill Russell and Red Auerbach, two men who were the sole architects of the basketball monument Boston Celtics in the sixties.

Duncan is a two-time NBA MVP and a three-time Finals MVP, making his near-two-decade stint one of the most decorated in the history of the franchise, and putting him up as a sure-fire soon-to-be Hall of Famer.

The 6-foot-11 big man ranks seventh in NBA history in games played (1,392), sixth in rebounds (15,091), fifth in blocks (3,020) and 14th in points scored (26,496). Duncan is also atop most major categories in Spurs history.

He will join the likes of Bruce Bowen, Johnny Moore, Avery Johnson, James Silas, Sean Elliott, George Gervin and “The Admiral” David Robinson as players to have their numbers retired by the team.

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