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5th Title Could Raise Duncan’s Hobby Profile

When Tim Duncan is compared to the best centers to ever play in the NBA he is usually ranked close to the top.  When Duncan is compared to the best power forwards of all time he is often judged to be at the very top of the list.  Collectors can find Tim Duncan basketball cards along with his contemporaries in the paint and compare them.  Duncan nearly always wins due to his championships, recognition from those who follow the game closely and his amazing and consistent statistics.

1997-98 Topps Chrome DuncanTim Duncan Jambalaya 1997-98Karl Malone, with 36,928 points scored during his career, may have been thought of as the best power forward of all time, although Baylor, McHale , Barkley and others would have had their fans if there was a vote, but Duncan has surpassed The Mailman in many areas.  Parker to Duncan won titles, Stockton to Malone ran into Jordan and Pippen and Rodman and didn’t win titles.

At 38, the length of Duncan’s high level play is astonishing.  When Duncan entered the NBA in 1997, Michael Jordan was the MVP while Dennis Rodman was the top rebounder.  Both have long since retired.  Not only was  Duncan the best player from the draft in ‘97, he has played longer than the players selected then despite also playing four years at Wake Forest.  Keith Van Horn was the second pick that year, but Duncan has played in more than twice as many NBA games as KVH did.

That he stayed with one team throughout his NBA career makes Duncan a loyal and rare player, although for some card collectors that is a reason why he isn’t hugely popular.  Most superstar centers, and power forwards, found their way to the Lakers or other large market teams and a lot more publicity. He was never close to following them out of San Antonio, but there was some talk in the offseason of 2000 that the Magic could sign both Duncan and Grant Hill.  That could have made Duncan a player with only one title, as Orlando couldn’t add pieces to their team with Hill and his bad ankles filling up the salary cap.

1997-98 Flair Showcase Row 2 #5 Tim DuncanWith the most recent victory over Miami Duncan has now won titles with the Spurs in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014.  There is nothing wrong with four NBA championships, but five puts Duncan into an exclusive club.  He now has have one more than Shaq, as many as George Mikan, Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant and is just one behind Kareem and Jordan.

Will one more championship change how basketball card collectors view Duncan? A Hall of Fame lock when he is eligible, winning a championship late in one’s career often catapults a player to a new level (see John Elway).

There are collectors who have been accumulating Duncan cards from the moment he was drafted by the Spurs.  Since then the card companies making official NBA cards have changed, Duncan’s teammates have all changed, countries have merged or been created, presidents have come and gone, San Antonio has changed arenas, but Gregg Popovich is still the coach and Duncan can still get 20 points, 10 rebounds and a couple of blocks a night.

In honor of his uniform number but in no particular order, here are 21 Duncan rookie cards to collect.  Some can be had for a buck or two; others will cost you more–if you can find them.  Click the links to see them on eBay.

1997-98 Topps Chrome Refractors #115 

1997-98 E-X2001 Jambalaya #8 

1997-98 Ultra Star Power #SP18 

1997-98 Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems Emerald #66

1997-98 Upper Deck #114

1997-98 SP Authentic #165

1997-98 Z-Force Super Rave #111

1997-98 Hoops High Voltage 500 #HV15

1997-98 Ultra Platinum Medallion #131

1997-98 Z-Force Zebut #6

1997-98 Bowman’s Best Mirror Image Refractors 

1997-98 Z-Force #111

1997-98 Finest Embossed #306

1997-98 Hoops #166 

1997-98 Fleer Rookie Sensations #6

1997-98 Flair Showcase Row 3 #5

1997-98 Topps #115

1997-98 Ultra Heir to the Throne #7

1997-98 Fleer Tiffany Collection #201

1997-98 Collector’s Choice Star Attractions #SA11

1997-98 Metal Universe Championship Future Champions #1

TIM DUNCAN Rare 1997-98 Topps Finest GOLD ROOKIE REFRACTOR #138/289 Mint Spurs
17 bids - Price: $63.00 - Watchers: 25
Item # 141451564068
2001 Topps Pristine O'Neal/Tim Duncan/Jabbar/Peja Stojakovic Complete Auto Set38
8 bids - Price: $344.00 - Watchers: 20
Item # 291279678726
2013-14 Panini FLAWLESS Sapphire Gem Tim Duncan San Antonio Spurs 1/10
4 bids - Price: $26.00 - Watchers: 18
Item # 381031594189
5 bids - Price: $13.00 - Watchers: 13
Item # 251693759827
2003-04 Upper Deck Extra Exquisite Tim Duncan Jumbo Jersey 41/75 Spurs
11 bids - Price: $29.00 - Watchers: 13
Item # 361095019218
2013-14 National Treasures Timelines Patch Tim Duncan Spurs 7/25
2 bids - Price: $8.49 - Watchers: 13
Item # 121471357325
2002-03 Topps Xpectations Autographs Tim Duncan BGS 9 Auto 10 F8
5 bids - Price: $2.25 - Watchers: 13
Item # 231375073822
Tim Duncan 2008-09 Topps Treasury Unripped rip card 99/299 Lebron? Durant? Auto
1 bids - Price: $12.99 - Watchers: 12
Item # 291277525681
2013-14 National Treasures NBA GAME GEAR Tim Duncan Dual Patch 09/25 Spurs
3 bids - Price: $4.24 - Watchers: 12
Item # 381036926596
1997 Topps Chrome Tim Duncan Rookie RC PSA 10
9 bids - Price: $79.00 - Watchers: 10
Item # 291278617027
Tim Duncan 2013-14 Panini Preferred Basketball Booklet Finals Jersey SP #91/99
6 bids - Price: $2.50 - Watchers: 10
Item # 301372206309
8 bids - Price: $22.75 - Watchers: 9
Item # 331361265121
Spurs jersey patch lot, David Robinson, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili
1 bids - Price: $3.00 - Watchers: 7
Item # 291276507052
2003-04 Fleer Platinum TIM DUNCAN SCOUTING REPORT GU Jersey Patch SP/250 Booklet
1 bids - Price: $1.99 - Watchers: 7
Item # 281476706656
1997-98 Hoops High Voltage RC Tim Duncan Insert 16 Lot F1
5 bids - Price: $3.58 - Watchers: 7
Item # 231372666975
3 bids - Price: $5.59 - Watchers: 7
Item # 301369564700
skybox autographics Allen Iverson Karl Malone Tim Duncan Anfernee Hardaway
3 bids - Price: $2.75 - Watchers: 7
Item # 171520925946
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