Kelly Dwyer has already noted that, by any criteria, the Thunder were a lot better than the Spurs in their Game 3 blowout win on Thursday night. However, the Spurs had one very notable highlight. With just under 2:30 left in the first half, Tim Duncan swatted a Serge Ibaka attempt to notch his fourth block of the game and the 477th of his playoff career. That put him one ahead of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the top spot on the all-time list. Watch it above, and soak in the history.
There are some obvious issues with this record, because the NBA didn't officially start tracking blocked shots until the 1973-74 season. Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain never had the chance to make this mark in the record books, and Kareem absolutely had a few more blocks that weren't recorded. On top of that, Duncan has played in an era with more playoff games in total.
That's nitpicking, though, because Duncan obviously earned this record. There's a tendency to speak of his greatness in terms of his four championships and staying power, but as he gets closer to the end of his career it's becoming increasingly clear that Duncan's individual marks will have a place in NBA history for a long time. This blocks record is just one example — Duncan also has 22,558 points, 12,533 rebounds and 2,469 blocks over his 15 seasons. He's not just a guy who wins — he's one of the best players of all time statistically, too.
Because of his consistency, we sometimes forget just how much Duncan has accomplished as an individual. The good news is that, as he continues to hit these sorts of milestones, we'll acknowledge what he's done time and time again.
- Sports & Recreation
- Tim Duncan
- Serge Ibaka