This year’s NBA Finals may not have ended in Tim Duncan’s favor, but historically, the month of June has been kind to the San Antonio big man. June 25 in particular has been especially memorable for Duncan. The big man has accomplished not one but two rare feats on June 25, 1997 and June 25, 1999, respectively.
First, on June 25, 1997, Duncan was selected as the first overall pick of the ’97 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs. After four dominant years at Wake Forest, it was finally Duncan’s chance to go pro, aligning himself with fellow big man David Robinson to form the Spurs “Twin Towers”. It didn’t take long for Duncan to become accustomed to basketball at the pro level, prompting Charles Barkley to observe that “I have seen the future and he wears number 21.”
Suffice to say, Barkley was right. Just two years later, on June 25, 1999, Duncan led the Spurs to an NBA Finals win over the New York Knicks in five games. Averaging 27.4 points and 14 rebounds per game, Duncan was named the 1999 Finals MVP. This was San Antonio’s first championship since becoming the Spurs franchise, and made them the first former ABA team to capture an NBA title.
These days, you can catch Tim in adidas models such as the adiPure Crazyquick. But early in his career, Duncan was a proud Swoosh representative, wearing some of of Nike’s most innovative models of the era, including the Total Air Foamposite Max. During the 1999 Finals, he was in the Nike Air Vis Zoom Uptempo, which was also worn by opponent Alan Houston during the postseason. The Air Vis Zoom Uptempo was notable the first basketball model to feature visible Zoom Air cushioning.