12 reasons Tim Duncan can be considered as the greatest basketball player of all time
2) Tim Duncan vs Bill Russell
When we talk of the greatest winner in sports, Bill Russell's name comes up. It's become almost sacrilegious to question Bill Russell's place as the greatest winner of all time. Before going further, it would be prudent to acknowledge that Russell did more than most to change the game than most.
His cultural impact paved the way for African-American athletes to thrive in the sport. He was a born winner, and his incisive approach to the game can teach anyone in any field volumes about acquiring a winning habit. The man introduced the concept of blocking shots and playing with an unflappable dignity and poise.
That being said, Tim Duncan has a stronger claim of being the biggest winner in basketball. He is the only player to ever reach 1,000 wins with one team, and his team posted a record 71% winning percentage, which is above Russell's record. Russell shot 44% from the field and won 11 titles in a 13-year career from 1956 to 1969. On an average, the league had 10 teams at that time. These facts dilute his wins a bit. During his tenure, the Celtics averaged an extrapolated 58-24 regular season record.
There is a reason we give an edge to nostalgia when it comes to evaluating the place of players in history. But it would be hearsay to not put Duncan on the same level as Bill Russell, if not above.