Bill Russellís Celtics (1959-1968) were the greatest teams ever, winning 11 NBA championships, but even his first two Boston teams and his last Cís squad didnít win 50, giving Russ 10 straight 50-plusses in his 13-year career.

Dirk Nowitzkiís Mavericks have become a model of consistency, but even Dallas trails San Antonio with 10 straight (going on 11). And unlike TD, Dirk did not have winning seasons his first two years in the NBA.

No matter how you slice itó14 straight or 12 straightóthe Spursí streak really is one of the most amazing feats in sports.

To paraphrase T-Pain: "All they do is win, win, win, no matter what."

You've got to give credit to Gregg Popovich, who was Spurs' head coach and architect for the entire run. Credit All-Star teammates David Robinson, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and the other Spurs who made it possible. And of course, credit Duncan.

The only player who had a similar run in NBA history is Duncan's boyhood hero Magic Johnson, who had All-Star teammates Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, Jamaal Wilkes, Norm Nixon and A.C. Green during that span.

So it got me thinking. Has Duncan become a more accomplished player than Magic at this point in his career?

I like looking at players historically by accomplishments. When you do that, youíre able to see where the greats rank amongst themselves, even though they played in different eras.

By doing it this way, Iím comfortable saying Bill Russell was the NBAís greatest teammate ever, Michael Jordan was second and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was third (even the great MJ can't top Russell's accomplishment-line of 11 rings, 5 MVPs, 11 Top 5 MVPs, 11 All-NBAs, etc.).

Stack their feats up and the numbers speak for themselves.

That said, this streak made me wonder if the 34-year-old Duncan is close to passing his hero Magic on this NBA All-Time Accomplishment list.

And if he hasnít done so yet, will a strong 2011 NBA Playoff run from Duncan and the Spurs get TD from the No. 5 slot to Magicís No. 4 position on this list?

Iíll let you be the judge of that (it's getting close) Ö

Magic NBA championships: 5

Duncan NBA championships: 4

Magic playoff series wins: 32*

Duncan playoff series wins: 25

Magic MVPs: 3

Duncan MVPs: 2

Magic Top 5 in MVP voting: 9

Duncan Top 5 in MVP voting: 9

Magic Finals MVPs: 3

Duncan Finals MVPs: 3

Magic All-NBA squads: 10**

Duncan All-NBA squads: 13

Magic All-Stars: 12

Duncan All-Stars: 13***


* Magicís series win total could be even higher. In his first four years in the league, the NBA only had three rounds of playoffs, as opposed to the four rounds played the rest of his career Ö and still today.

** The NBA didnít go to three teams on the All-NBA squads until 1988-89. So if you held Duncan to Magicís standards, TD would have made first- or second-team All-NBA squads 12 times in his career (not counting this seasonís possibility, of course).

*** Don't forget, Duncan was cheated out of another All-Star appearance during that lockout year because no ASG was played that season. A 1999 All-Star would have brought his total to 14.


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Tim Duncan, The Spurs & The Magical 50-Win Streak

Mar 3 2011 9:01AM

By Darryl Howerton #21

Trivia question: Can you name the only Tim Duncan San Antonio Spurs squad that did not win 50 games in a regular season?

If you said, the 1999 NBA champion Spurs who went 37-13 in a lockout-shortened campaign, youíd be correct.

Thatís right! The only thing that kept TDís Spurs from Fiddy was a lockout.

And if you projected that 37-13 lockout record over an 82-game season, San Antonio would have won 61 games that championship year. So itís not a stretch to say, Duncan has played for a 50-plus win club in every one of his 14 NBA seasons.

With Wednesdayís win at Cleveland, San Antonio became the first 2010-11 NBA team to win 50, doing so at the teamís fastest pace yet, needing only 61 games to get the job done.

Do you realize how great 14 straight 50-win seasons are?

No oneís done it ... Not even Charlie Sheen wins this much!

Only Magic Johnsonís Lakers (1980-1991) could match Duncan & the Spurs' actual 12-straight streak.