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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

1997 - 1998 Topps Finest Tim Duncan, Gold Embossed Refractor, Card # 325
23 bids - Price: $610.00 - Watchers: 42
Item # 171911770348
1997-98 Flair Showcase Legacy Row 0 RC Tim Duncan #'d 77/100
9 bids - Price: $620.00 - Watchers: 32
Item # 361375497204
1997-98 Finest Gold Refractor Tim Duncan Rare RC 188/289 Card 325 Mint or better
31 bids - Price: $289.77 - Watchers: 28
Item # 262020313394
TIM DUNCAN 1999 TOPPS FINEST RARE GOLD REFRACTOR #6/25 - VERY TOUGH CARD TO FIND
8 bids - Price: $87.00 - Watchers: 24
Item # 262025347671
2012-13 Panini Absolute Jumbo Patch Tim Duncan 05/25
11 bids - Price: $21.48 - Watchers: 22
Item # 331638908882
2014-15 Preferred One On One Patch Booklet / Lamarcus Aldridge VS Tim Duncan
10 bids - Price: $14.50 - Watchers: 19
Item # 151795088365
LEBRON JAMES TIM DUNCAN PARKER ETC 2012-13 PREFERRED JERSEY FINALS BOOKLET /199
9 bids - Price: $17.00 - Watchers: 17
Item # 271968658007
Tim Duncan Chrome Rookie Refractor
10 bids - Price: $300.00 - Watchers: 17
Item # 271966741449
2004-05 Skybox E-XL Jambalaya Tim Duncan San Antonio Spurs
9 bids - Price: $56.00 - Watchers: 16
Item # 371421676273
LOT of 6 Basketball High End Game-Used Jersey Relics Dirk Shaq Tim Duncan /50 J5
10 bids - Price: $7.39 - Watchers: 15
Item # 131587714017
Tim Duncan 1997-98 Metal Universe Hardware Insert Set #12 of 15 H w/ Stamp
2 bids - Price: $1.29 - Watchers: 15
Item # 371422482436
TIM DUNCAN 1997-98 STADIUM CLUB TRIUMVIRATE #T16B RC ROOKIE BGS 9.5 GEM MINT
16 bids - Price: $51.50 - Watchers: 15
Item # 391238334409
98-99 Tim Duncan Skybox E-X Century Dunk'n Go-Nuts INSERT (1:96)
2 bids - Price: $1.29 - Watchers: 14
Item # 271972334910
2014-15 National Treasures Tim Duncan NBA Game Gear dual patch 1/25 Spurs
17 bids - Price: $20.50 - Watchers: 13
Item # 371421645438
2014-15 National Treasures TIM DUNCAN GAME WORN 4/5.
6 bids - Price: $28.00 - Watchers: 12
Item # 391242798372
1997 SP Authentic Tim Duncan rookie PSA 10!! Gem Mint!!
26 bids - Price: $57.00 - Watchers: 12
Item # 181847777501
1997 Finest Refractor #306 Tim Duncan RC Rookie PSA 10 GEM MINT
4 bids - Price: $41.00 - Watchers: 12
Item # 371423985327
14-15 Gala #15 Tim Duncan Base Card 40/79
2 bids - Price: $2.25 - Watchers: 11
Item # 361374633273
2014-15 PANINI GALA TIM DUNCAN / TONY PARKER DOUBLE FEATURE MEMORABILIA #46/49
1 bids - Price: $4.99 - Watchers: 10
Item # 131589270005