Tim Duncan led the San Antonio Spurs through an unprecedented era of greatness and consistency, winning 5 Championships in 19 years, never missing the playoffs once in that span.
That kind of success doesn’t come without help, and Duncan enjoyed the luxuries of playing for head coach Gregg Popovich and alongside several talented teammates in Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.
Interestingly enough, Duncan had his doubts about one of those co-stars before their incredible run together began. In his book, “Tony Parker: Beyond All My Dreams,” the European legend, and former Spurs point guard, described some of his early motivations, which included proving one of his earliest doubters (Tim Duncan) wrong.
The most important thing for me was showing Pop and Duncan that I deserved to be there. I was aware of Duncan’s doubts. When the Spurs drafted me, he said, “But why are we drafting a European point guard? We’ll never win a title with a European point guard.”
To be fair, Parker was an unknown prospect back in 2001, coming from France before being selected by San Antonio with the 28th pick. It’s understandable that people would have concerns — especially Tim Duncan, who wasn’t even impressed by Michael Jeffrey Jordan.
It would only take two seasons for Parker to prove Duncan wrong, as they’d end up winning their first of five NBA Championships in 2003.
In the years that followed, the Spurs built a dynasty that would forever mark their place in history. With six Finals appearances, 5 titles, and a 61% win percentage, the franchise is often considered one of the best in the NBA, right there with the Bulls, Lakers, and Celtics.
As for Parker, he’d end his career as one of the best European point guards ever, with 6 All-Star appearances, 4 All-NBA selections, a Finals MVP, and 4 titles to his name. Kudos to him for sticking it to all his doubters.