Longtime San Antonio Spurs Reporter Reflects on Tim Duncan’s Career

December 17th, 2016 by Mike Monroe Leave a reply »

On Halloween night in 1997 at McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, I had a courtside seat for the beginning of the Tim Duncan era. Little did I know that despite leaving childhood almost four decades earlier, I was in store for a treat that lasted most of the next 20 years.

At the time, I was on the Denver Nuggets beat for the Denver Post, years before I moved to the San Antonio Express-News in February 2004. That required me to focus on Denver's rookie point guard, Bobby Jackson, and two other 1997 first-round picks on the Nuggets roster: Tony Battie (No. 5) and Danny Fortson (No. 10, traded to Denver from Milwaukee).

Long-suffering Nuggets fans were anxious to see how they would handle their first games for a team that had won only 21 games the previous season.

The San Antonio Spurs scored the first of their 56 regular-season wins, 107-96, but Jackson became one of basketball's all-time great trivia questions: Name the rookie who outscored Tim Duncan in his first game.

Jackson had 27 that night; Duncan only had 15, the same as Battie. The only rookie Duncan outscored that night was Fo ...

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