In 2003, Tim Duncan won his second NBA title and his second straight MVP award. He’d established himself as the best player in the league and solidified a San Antonio Spurs dynasty that is still going to this day.
But there’s one thing he may have accomplished that season that he didn’t get credit for.
As far as accomplishments go, NBA fans place value on triple-doubles, which means garnering double digits on the stat sheet in three categories: usually points, rebounds, and assists. The ultra-rare quadruple double would mean that a player would also get 10 or more blocks.
There have only been four quadruple-doubles in NBA history, and all of them were in the regular season, the last by The Admiral, David Robinson, in 1994.
Tim Duncan had a triple-double in Game 6 of the 2003 NBA Finals, a rare feat. But he may have been even better.
So here’s she question we’re seeking to VERIFY: Should Tim Duncan have been credited with a quadruple-double during the ’03 Finals?
On this day, 14 years ago, the record books show that Timmy put on one of the greatest performances in Finals history as he scored 21 points, grabbed 20 rebounds, dished out 10 assists, and recorded eight blocks.
In an era of online video making seemingly everything available to watch again, particularly performances like Duncan’s, we can go back and see if Timmy should’ve gotten more and historic credit for his performance.
The number of points, rebounds, and even assists are undisputed, so let’s go through the blocks one by one.
(Don't let the video preview photos fool you. All these videos are cued up to the blocks I'm highlighting.)
The first came early in the first quarter when future and former Spur Richard Jefferson was rejected:
The second came on the next possession when Duncan blocked Kenyon Martin. Martin, in his prime, was held to 3-23 in this game.
Later in the 1st quarter, Timmy gets another one, this time on Aaron Williams.
His 4th block came in the 2nd quarter, when Martin thought he had a dunk, but Duncan emphatically denied him.
Block No. 5 comes on lowly Richard Jefferson once again.
Block No. 6 is Duncan’s first of the 3rd quarter and it comes on Kerry Kittles. Remember Kerry Kittles!? All-time great sports name.
Block No. 7 is another fierce one on Richard Jefferson in which Timmy smothers him at the rim.
Block No. 8 may have been Duncan’s easiest. Rodney Rogers somehow forgot to account for the best player in the league on this drive.
Duncan’s 9th block of the game continues his domination of Kenyon Martin when he challenges Timmy and the regular season MVP steps up as the NBA Finals MVP.
His last and 10th block comes on a tipped three-pointer, his least conventional stuff of the game.
So there you have it! Ten blocks!
But for some reason, two of them weren’t recorded blocks on the stat sheet. Here are the two that weren’t recorded as blocks:
The first is the one on Kerry Kittles:
How is that not a blocked shot? Kittles clearly attempts to put the ball up and score, but the box score doesn’t reflect that for some reason. The broadcasters even confirm that it should’ve been a block.
The other is one of the many Jefferson denials:
For some reason, this block is credited to The Admiral, even though it was Duncan that clearly smothered Jefferson when he went up.
We have no idea why the NBA didn’t rule these as blocks. As for why the Spurs didn’t protest the calls to have them changed in the record books after the game (which has happened before in NBA history), they were likely too distracted by winning a championship to worry about two uncredited blocks for a guy that was now simultaneously holding the regular season MVP and NBA Finals MVP.
It's not like Duncan needed more validation as an all-time great player in the middle of his prime.
But thanks to video replay, we’re able to Verify that Tim Duncan should’ve been credited with a quadruple-double in Game 6 of the 2003 NBA Finals, which would still stand as the only quadruple-double in playoff history.