San Antonio Spurs: Solidifying Tim Duncan’s case over Dirk Nowitzki in all-time rankings

SAN ANTONIO – APRIL 29: Forward Tim Duncan #21 of the San Antonio Spurs greets Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks after Game 6 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in 2010 (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

For as much fun as certain basketball enthusiasts have debating it, San Antonio Spurs legend Tim Duncan is infinitely better than his rival, Dirk Nowitzki.

It’s rare for a heated rivalry to be based in mutual respect as opposed to disdain, but then again, there was nothing ordinary about the careers of Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki. Not only was the Hall of Fame pair pitted against each other at the same position, but they played out their careers as division rivals battling for dominance in the same state. Now that the San Antonio Spurs legend is officially on his way to the Hall of Fame, the fans have another talking point to uphold Duncan’s legacy as the greatest power forward of all-time.

And yet the conversation continues to divulge into nuances as the years go on and we move farther away from Duncan’s peak years in the early 2000s. Great players have their legacies glossed over continuously in this league and now, it seems like Duncan is next in line for that unsavory treatment.

Whether these arguments are based on boredom or actual assessment is to be determined, but certain patrons of the internet have been challenging Duncan’s spot as the greatest power forward to ever live. They’ve cited Dirk as the superior player without substantiating such claims, leading us back to an argument that Spurs and Mavs fans suffered through for over two decades.

Now that things are all said and done, we have full resumes to comb through to create a definitive case for each side and while Dirk was a spectacle, it’s clear that Timmy is the top dog. His longevity, two-way impact, record-setting ability and sustained excellence are no match for the German sensation.

Nowitzki was a great rival for Tim and is a sure-fire Hall of Famer in his own right, but in his totality, Dirk only scratches the surface of the player Duncan turned out to be.

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