The Spurs were coming off a poor 1996–97 NBA season; in which their best player, David Robinson—himself a number one draft pick in 1987—was sidelined for most of the year with an injury. The Spurs had finished with a 20–62 win-loss record. However, as the 1997-98 NBA season approached, the Spurs were considered a notable threat in the NBA. With both an experienced center in Robinson and the number one pick in Duncan, the Spurs featured one of the best frontcourts in the NBA. Duncan and Robinson became known as the "Twin Towers", having earned a reputation for their exceptional defense close to the basket, forcing opponents to take lower percentage shots from outside. From the beginning, Duncan established himself as a quality player: in his second-ever road game, he grabbed 22 rebounds against opposing Chicago Bulls power forward Dennis Rodman, a multiple rebounding champion and NBA Defensive Player of the Year. Later, when Duncan played against opposing Houston RocketsHall-of-Fame power forward Charles Barkley, Barkley was so impressed he said: "I have seen the future and he wears number 21 [Duncan's jersey number]." In his rookie season, Duncan lived up the expectations of being the number one draft pick, starting in all 82 regular-season games, and averaging 21.1 points, 11.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.5 blocks per game. His defensive contributions ensured that he was elected to the All-Defensive Second Team and was also named NBA Rookie of the Year. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich lauded Duncan's mental toughness, stating his rookie's "demeanor was singularly remarkable", Duncan always "put things into perspective" and never got "too upbeat or too depressed." Center Robinson was equally impressed with Duncan: "He's the real thing. I'm proud of his attitude and effort. He gives all the extra effort and work and wants to become a better player."