Every generation has some great players that rival each other. When I started watching it was Jordan and drexler at the SG spot (though Mitch Richmond deserves mention). And at power forward it was Barkley and Malone. I always liked Barkley's personality more when I was younger, but I have a great appreciation for both players and see them as equals.
Since they retire it seems like the conversation is between Duncan and Garnett. Dirk is up there to, and obviously he is the most gifted shooter of the three, but let us be honest and say that he was never the rebounder or defender that Garnett and Duncan have been.
I expect ten years from now people will be comparing notes between Kevin Love and Blake Griffen.
So my question is this: Who is the best PF since the Barkley/Malone era? Duncan? Or Garnett? I know most will be inclined to say Duncan and note that he has four rings to Garnett's one, but you might want to ask yourself as well; Had Duncan and Garnett traded spots would their careers be much different? Would the Spurs have been able to win four rings with Garnett? And would the T-wolves and their awful front office have been able to win any rings with Duncan? And how would Duncan have faired with Ray Allen and Paul Pierce?
I think the two are about equals, though I like Duncan's approach. Garnett is one of those players that celebrates a lot on the floor when he should be getting back on defense. Duncan is all business.