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Tim Duncan Basketball Cards Steady as He Is

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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 compare Tim Duncan basketball cards with his contemporaries in the paint and 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.  Duncan, however, 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 DuncanDuncan 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 Tim 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.  Below that is a list of the current ‘most watched’ Duncan cards.

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 2004/05 TOPPS LUXURY BOX CHAMPAGNE TOAST AUTOGRAPH SPURS AUTO SP #/75
17 bids - Price: $82.00 - Watchers: 52
Item # 391185977153
1997-98 E-X 2001 Essential Credential Now #75 Tim Duncan RC Rookie 57/75 PSA 10
15 bids - Price: $910.00 - Watchers: 43
Item # 271916873889
1999-00 Topps Tim Duncan RC Rookie AUTO San Antonio Spurs
25 bids - Price: $177.50 - Watchers: 35
Item # 361331866323
2014/15 PANINI PREFERRED BOOKLET TIM DUNCAN/DEANDRE JORDAN 1 ON 1 PATCH 24/25 5C
12 bids - Price: $30.00 - Watchers: 30
Item # 381310493156
2014/15 PANINI PREFERRED BOOKLET SPURS 8 JERSEY /99 TIM DUNCAN/KAWHI LEONARD/...
8 bids - Price: $21.50 - Watchers: 26
Item # 381310497266
2014-15 Panini Preferred Crazy Eights Tim Duncan Tony Parker Patch 11/25 O5
9 bids - Price: $51.00 - Watchers: 26
Item # 231609572392
Shaquille O'neal Karl Malone Tim Duncan 2004 fleer sweet sigs quad patch 31/31
7 bids - Price: $22.50 - Watchers: 23
Item # 111701784595
1997-98 Finest Tim Duncan Rookie Refractor BGS 9.5
6 bids - Price: $70.00 - Watchers: 21
Item # 381306258531
1997-98 Press Pass Authentics Veteran Approved Tim Duncan RC Rookie AUTO
8 bids - Price: $15.50 - Watchers: 21
Item # 361331866355
TIM DUNCAN 2013/14 PANINI FLAWLESS HUGE JUMBO 3 COLOR PATCH JERSEY SP #/25 $250
10 bids - Price: $46.00 - Watchers: 20
Item # 291504168415
TIM DUNCAN 2004/05 UD ULTIMATE GAME USED 3-CLR TAG LOGO PATCH #099/100 JR1067
21 bids - Price: $30.00 - Watchers: 19
Item # 361329426153
Tim Duncan #16/99 2014-15 Panini Preferred Champs Game Used Jersey Booklet Spurs
8 bids - Price: $21.50 - Watchers: 18
Item # 181788081510
1997-98 Topps Chrome Tim Duncan Rookie BGS 9.5
3 bids - Price: $27.00 - Watchers: 17
Item # 201377768427
TIM DUNCAN 1997 ROOKIE Autograph Scoreboard On card#203/500 Comes with Cert
6 bids - Price: $29.00 - Watchers: 16
Item # 151729372364
2014-15 Preferred Tim Duncan 2014 NBA Finals Game 2 GU JERSEY RELIC 4/99 SPURS
6 bids - Price: $18.50 - Watchers: 15
Item # 141703423824
2014-15 Panini Preferred Crazy Eights Parker Tim Duncan Spurs Jersey 90/99 N9
4 bids - Price: $8.50 - Watchers: 15
Item # 231609572841
1997-98 SPX Tim Duncan Gold rookie card
9 bids - Price: $38.00 - Watchers: 14
Item # 221810518763
13-14 PANINI INTRIGUE INTRIGUING PAIRS DUAL PATCH BLAKE GRIFFIN TIM DUNCAN 10/10
6 bids - Price: $9.27 - Watchers: 14
Item # 161747377488
TIM DUNCAN 1997/98 97/98 FLEER THRILL SEEKERS #3 (EXTREMELY RARE) ROOKIE JR1057
9 bids - Price: $25.89 - Watchers: 12
Item # 231604706490
Tim Duncan 2000-01 Finest Gems Gold Refractor SP /100 Topps Die Cut
2 bids - Price: $2.25 - Watchers: 11
Item # 281737540424