In the history of the NBA, there have been a total of four quadruple-doubles. Nate Thurmond (1974), Alvin Robertson (1986), Hakeem Olajuwon (1990) and David Robinson (1994) all stuffed the stat sheets with 10-plus points, rebounds and assists, with three of the four adding more than 10 blocks, and Robertson posting double digits in steals. A truly amazing feat no matter when or where it took place. However, when you are able to dominate to this magnitude when it matters most, you are speaking about extraordinary measures that are once in a lifetime type scenarios.
In 2003, Tim Duncan was entering the peak of his prime as he was honored with his second straight league MVP trophy. He would average a more than solid 23 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks per game on the season. And where Hall of Fame running mate David Robinson was on his way out, Tim was leading a group of young and hungry upcoming stars such as Tony Parker, Stephen Jackson and Manu Ginobili to the NBA Finals.
The Spurs would face the New Jersey Nets, a team that surrounded Jason Kidd with a bunch of athletes and a stout defensive front in Dikembe Mutombo and Jason Collins. Both teams split the first four games and the Spurs took the all-important Game 5 in New Jersey. This was to be David Robinson riding into the sunset with another championship, but this time he would have a driver. On this night, Tim Duncan was the admiral of the ship and allowed Robinson to man the rest of the deck in what turned out to be one of the greatest performances in NBA Finals history.
Duncan completely dominated from start to finish. He ripped off an incredible 21 points, 20 rebounds, 10 assists, and eight blocks. Sure its not a quadruple-double, but in the grand scheme of the purpose of the game and the numbers that were put up, it most certainly qualifies as one that should stand out amongst most others.
With Tim entering his sixth NBA Finals, it is time to honor him properly and call him what he is- one of the top five players of all-time. That’s right. Even if he does not win this season’s title his name should still be mentioned with Jordan, Russell, Chamberlain, Magic, and Bird. But if he should so happen to win…well, the Mount Rushmore discussion should be evaluated once again. Nothing but #RESPECT.