San Antonio Spurs legend Tim Duncan has amassed five rings, three Finals MVPs and two regular-season MVPs during his 18-year NBA career, but the power forward just added another distinction.
Duncan was named the winner of the 2014-15 Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award, becoming the third player to receive the award since its inception.
According to Buck Harvey of the San Antonio Express-News, Duncan was truly appreciative of the recognition. The power forward said:
“I was really stoked when I heard about it, and it’s truly an honor.”
Duncan joins Chauncey Billups and Shane Battier on the currently short list. Battier will present the award to Duncan during the 2015-16 NBA season.
According to the Spurs official site, Duncan received 1,494 points—including 72 first-place votes—which presented a sizable margin in front of Vince Carter [Memphis Grizzlies, 818 points (28)] and Elton Brand [Atlanta Hawks, 707 (21)]. Pau Gasol and Andre Iguodala highlighted a collection of nine other finalists.
The 2015-16 season will likely be the 39-year-old’s final campaign, but he remains a critical part of the San Antonio roster.
Expectations have firmly planted on a championship since the Spurs added LaMarcus Aldridge and David West. However, Duncan is the only true defensive-minded post player in the anticipated rotation.
Duncan will be a tremendous teammate for one final season, and NBA fans would be wise to enjoy every fundamental minute of his final encore.