Dec 31, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich talks to San Antonio Spurs power forward Tim Duncan (21) during the first half against the New Orleans Pelicans at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
In case you were sleeping under a rock the news is true. San Antonio Spurs Hall off Famer, Tim Duncan retired from the sport of basketball.
More from Air Alamo
- Spurs show remarkable poise against Bulls, unlike many fans
- Devin Vassell is the latest in the Spurs’ collection of silent assassins
- San Antonio Spurs: 5 Players to avoid in any LaMarcus Aldridge deal
- Is Gregg Popovich hiding Luka Samanic as a secret weapon?
- San Antonio Spurs News: More DeRozan trade talk from Chris Haynes
Duncan walked away from the game in which he gave it his all each and every night. It was not the same retirement tour that Kobe Bryant had but that is Duncan. He is not for the spotlight. Maybe his mind was mind up when he walked off the floor in Oklahoma City after the teams exit from the playoffs. The ovation he received from the Thunder fans and the acknowledgment from Duncan with the raising of his arm and his extended finger showing the No. 1, it probably was his exit walk.
There were signs of hope when Duncan opted into his contract with the Spurs, but many felt what would happen, and it came to light Monday. He is walking away from a game in which he changed. He laid the foundation for the Spurs organization. Without Duncan, there would not be five banners hanging from the rafters at the AT&T Center.
Alot of memories wrapped up in a 19 year career. Some astonishing numbers to look at via Ball Don’t Lie:
Compiling a quiet 56,738 minutes — including an NBA-record 9,370 in the playoffs — over 1,643 games that, when viewed collectively, spoke louder than any other power forward in history. So, the mission to whittle a career’s worth of 26,496 points, 15,091 rebounds, 4,225 assists and 3,020 blocks down to eight games was not an easy one.
With the numbers comes the memorable games, and he had them. From buzzer-beaters to double-overtime wins, he had it all. His legacy will live on. Now that Duncan is stepping away from the, we take a final look at some of the memorable games throughout his career.
Next: June 5, 1999 Spurs vs Knicks
Duncan in just his second NBA season capped the run to San Antonio’s first championship with 31 points and nine rebounds. He logged 46 minutes of a clinching Game 5 victory in the Mecca, Madison Square Garden.
David Robinson’s days were winding down with the Spurs as retirement was drawing near, the torch was officially passed to Duncan. And what he accomplished during this series started off his legacy.
He was named Finals MVP. He averaged 27.4 points, 14 boards, 2.4 assists and 2.2 blocks during the series.
Next: Duncan's 53 Point Outburst
It was a late Christmas Day present for all Spurs fans in the Alamodome as Tim Duncan set a career high against in-state rival Dallas Mavericks with a 53 point outburst. What was more amazing about his performance, Duncan scored on just 28 shots (19-28 FG, 15-15 FT).
Though he was amazing on the offensive end, he notched11 rebounds, four assists and three blocks. This would be one of many memorable performances between he had Dirk Nowtizki.
Next: Duncan Nearly Notches Quadruple-Double
2003 NBA Finals, the San Antonio Spurs were facing the New Jersey Nets at the AT&T Center and all hail Tim Duncan. Duncan nearly notched a quadruple-double as in 46 minutes, he collected game highs of 21 points, 20 rebounds, 10 assists and a then-finals-record eight blocks.
His performance would rank up there with the Michael Jordan Flu Game. He single handedly took the game over. After the game, Head Coach Gregg Popovich stated that Duncan surely had no idea on what his numbers were through the game.
“I’m sure he had absolutely no clue what his stats were, what was going on statistically,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said in the game’s aftermath. “He just knows what’s going on in the game and what needs to be done.”
Next: 2005 Finals MVP
The San Antonio Spurs were pushed to a Game 7 against a defensive-minded Detroit Pistons in the 2005 NBA Finals. But it would be Tim Duncan and company that would seal the deal. Duncan would be named Finals MVP for the third time in his career, equalling the Spurs Championships.
Duncan amassed game highs of 25 points and 11 rebounds, as the talk of a dynasty was born.
Next: Duncan and Spurs Seek Revenge On Heat
The 2014 season would have to be my favorite of Spurs basketball, it would be named the redemption season. Just one year earlier, the Miami Heat devastated Spurs fans as Ray Allen’s Game 6 winner. It also marked the first win-or-go-home loss of Duncan’s career in Game 7.
Spurs came out during the 2014 season with one goal in mind, get back to the NBA Finals and win the title, nothing less. Fate was on their side as they ran through the regular season and any team that was opposite them. They would meet their makers from a year ago, LeBron James and the Miami Heat.
Duncan, then 38 years old set the tone for a surprisingly lopsided series with a vintage performance against the Heat, and that was one storyline that surfaced through the game.
This was the night the air conditioning malfunctioned at AT&T Center, forcing ames out of Game 1 with leg cramps. All the while, an aging Duncan was turning back the clock, scoring 21 points on 9-of-10 shooting to go along with 10 rebounds and three assists.
Duncan and the Spurs would go on to defeat the Heat to win their fifth NBA title.
Next: Saying Goodbye To A Legend
Dec 5, 2015; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs power forward Tim Duncan (21) looks up at the video board during the second half against the Boston Celtics at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
It is hard to say goodbye. We all have to do it at one time so we prepare ourselves as much as we can. Once the time comes, we still are not ready, it leaves us with a sore taste in our mouths and a turning feeling in our stomaches. If you were to lookup the definition of a teammate and a role model Duncan’s name should appear.
A man that does not like the spotlight, never has, never will. So with the announcement of him retiring from the game of basketball the way it came about, is Duncan. In his eyes, no need for a press conference, no partying gifts, nothing. Every fan, media outlet, knew this is how Duncan wanted to leave the game, quietly.
The outpouring of respect from past and present players and coaches solidifies his place in history. He played 1,643 games and won 70 percent of them. Duncan was the staple on how basketball is supposed to be played. He laid the groundwork for the younger generations to come.