Stephen A. Smith and San Antonio Spurs fans may not agree on much. Smith usually rants on the Spurs and usually picks against them while Skip Bayless tends to be on the Spurs bandwagon for the majority of the year.
When the topic on ESPN's First Take was on whether Tim Duncan is a top 10 player of all time, it led to something Spurs fans can finally agree with Smith on. He went as far to say that Duncan shouldn't be discussed as top 10 but top 5 instead.
Check out the video below and see what Stephen A. Smith has to say about Duncan and his legacy and leave your comments on the topic.
Tim Duncan is my favorite player ever!!!!!!!!!!im gonna cry when he hangs it up. Gonna fly from the Bahamas to the area for that night!!!!!!
Glad Stephen A. Smith is showing Duncan some respect. Timmy is definitely top-5 in my opinion. He is the greatest/most consistent player in the post-Jordan era, and should be considered the best player of the 2000's given his resume. He beats out Kobe because Duncan has done less with more.
You can try to argue that the Big 3 (or Twin Towers) are greater than Kobe+Shaq, but those 1999, 2003, and 2005 titles were defined by given the ball to Duncan and letting him work in the post. Also, let's not forget how crucial Duncan was in anchoring our defense. The 2007 title was the beginning of the collective effort seasons in which Manu and Tony began to alleviate Timmy's offensive workload more regularly. However, it shouldn't even be a contest when you consider who Kobe had to alleviate his offensive/defensive load during his first 3 championships.
Shaq was unstoppable in the early 2000's which definitely contributed to Kobe's early success. This is the key when trying to compare Duncan to Kobe. When you consider how the Lakers did in the post Shaq-era until Pau arrived, it's pretty clear who was the more effective and better player. The Lakers wallowed in mediocrity and were on the verge of trading Kobe in 2007 until Pau was stolen from the Memphis Grizzlies.
In the end, only the handful of basketball purists and Spurs fans, who can see through the highlight reels and "clutch" shots will know the truth: Tim Duncan was a more effective and better overall player than Kobe Bryant. I know when I watch Duncan's #21 get hoisted into the rafters of the AT&T Center, that myself and 18,000 others around me understand what a gift it was to watch Tim Duncan play the game of basketball.