The careers of San Antonio Spurs legend Tim Duncan and the greatest player of all time, Michael Jordan, didn’t overlap very much. Still, the two shared some compelling moments on the court. Fortunately, NBA Twitter recently shared footage of the two all-time NBA greats going right at each other.
Duncan’s Spurs only faced Michael Jordan five times overall — twice against his Bulls and three more times against the Washington Wizards. From their first meeting, it was clear Tim could more than hold his own against His Airness. Duncan’s 19 points and 22 rebounds led the way for the Spurs, who came up just short in a double-overtime loss to Chicago.
In their next meeting, the two greats had an amusing sequence, as Ball Street Journal shared on Twitter. In the game, Duncan seemingly has an open layup at the basket until Jordan emerges from nowhere and swats the shot away.
As the ball shifts to the Bulls’ end, Jordan finds himself in a post-up against Vinny Del Negro on the baseline. Pivoting to a patented turnaround jumper, Jordan is suddenly met by a 21-year-old Duncan, who sends the shot into the crowd.
Duncan finished with 14 points and 12 boards but San Antonio again fell to Chicago 96-86. Tim would get the better of Michael in two of their three final matchups as Jordan finished his career in Washington. The relationship between Duncan and Jordan has always been interesting to me. While Jordan once called him the most fundamental all-around big man, Duncan never seemed to be that impressed by Michael.
“I’ve always respected him but I’ve never been a fan of his,” said Duncan to Dan Patrick in 1998. “So you don’t like Michael Jordan cause everybody else does?” replied Patrick. “No, I don’t like Michael Jordan because I don’t like Michael Jordan. You got me wrong there. I respect Michael Jordan,” answered Duncan.