Less than a week ago, Spurs captain Tim Duncan passed Hall of Famer Bob Pettit for 16th place on the NBA's all-time rebounds list.

On Monday at New Orleans Arena, Pettit, 80, who also starred at LSU before starring with the old Milwaukee/St. Louis Hawks, watched Duncan play.

Pettit, a former two-time Most Valuable Player who was a guest of Hornets owner Tom Benson, sat courtside, and Duncan stopped by to shake hands with him before tipoff.

"That was pretty cool," Duncan said.

At 63, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is old enough to recall when Pettit was an All-NBA forward for 10 consecutive seasons during a career that ran from 1954-65. He never compares players, but Popovich allowed that Pettit and Duncan must be in any conversation about the greatest power forwards.

"You look at the past, and you look at the present, and Pettit and Duncan would definitely be brought up as two names that would be the best ever," he said.

Though he said he wasn't surprised that Duncan knew about Pettit's legacy of greatness, Popovich said it would be a surprise if many of his players knew his name.

"I bring up names way after him that my team has no clue who they are," he said. "Bob Pettit? There's no shot there. Guys way after that I've brought up, and they just look at me."

Except Duncan.