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Basketball hall of famer and former NBA superstar Tim Duncan had tons of top-of-the-line and unforgettable moments in his 19-year glorious career as the core foundation of San Antonio Spurs from the late 90s up to mid-2010s. 

And when he was asked about what is his most glorifying championship out of the five he have, ‘The Big Fundamental’ answered that it is the gruelling triumph of their team’s lineup against the defending world champions Detroit Pistons way back in 2005. 

Guesting in an episode of ‘Real Ones’ of The Ringer last year, Duncan claimed that it was a “nerve-racking” experience to face the MoTown boys to the fullest extent of the title series.

“We had to go to a seventh game against them and that was probably the most nerve-racking of it—of the Finals. That’s game 7 and we were down 15 at some point in the final game. We experienced getting beaten; but just like the realizations that we had thus far and obviously they [might] do it again just like the [Miami] Heat—if we lose that one [then] that’s also disappointing as well.

“To remember right now, the game 7 against Detroit is against the unfazing Rasheed [Wallace], [Antonio] McDyess, Ben Wallace just — all these big studs that are athletic and they are not gonna give up.” 

TD also remembered a moment when a reporter approached him to ask a question if he was worried about the win-it-all game.

“I can remember how it felt going into that Game 7. A reporter was asking before the game, literally asking ‘Do you have any fear of this team? Are you scared going into this game?’ And [I was] like ‘Yeah! This is for all the marbles, this is it.’” 

“It was nerve-racking, obviously had a lot of fun, and ended great. Probably the most memorable run that I respect.”

Even though this heavyweight showdown have tallied low ratings in television, there are still many who considered it as the purest and most underrated one of all the seven-game Finals. Up to this day, many are applauding the two ball clubs for defining the definition of basketball—which usually revolves around defense, teamwork, and resilience. 

Entering the playoffs as the second-seeded team of the tough west, the Silver and Black had a much easier way towards the Finals if compared to the Red and Blue. They dragged the Denver Nuggets out of the picture with no hassle via gentleman’s sweep, outlasted the Seattle Supersonics in six games, and thrashed in five the reigning MVP Steve Nash as well as the number one Phoenix Suns in the conference finals. 

As for the east’s second-seeded group, the Pistons had an arduous road just to reach the title round again and try to nail a back-to-back. The first round was the easiest as they demolished the Allen Iverson-led Philadelphia 76ers in five. In the semis, they experienced a tough battle in six games against their arch nemesis and shorthanded Indiana Pacers being guided by the retiring legendary marksman Reggie Miller. Then, they faced the superstar duo Shaquille O’ Neal and Dwyane Wade of Miami Heat, yet managed to reclaim the conference on their home court in seven in spite of the overwhelming odds.

Games 1-4 were blowout from the winning squads. It was in game five that the infamous clutch shot of Robert Horry pushed the Spurs an upperhand in the series as they went home to try and win it all. In game six, the Pistons responded and forced the last game of the season that would decide the champions. At the end, the Spurs prevailed, 81-74, in this series for the ages. 

The pride of the U.S. Virgin Island bagged the Finals MVP after averaging 20.6 points, 14.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 2.1 blocks. After the successful campaign to claim the third title, the rest is history for Duncan and the Spurs.

Currently, Duncan is happily retired and was recently inducted to the basketball immortality. Along with fellow San Antonio legend Manu Ginobili, he is rumored to take over the Spurs’ coaching throne once Gregg Popovich retires.