Tim Duncan announced his retirement Monday, after taking time to mull his next life decision.
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Duncan opted into his 5.6 million dollar player option, which he will get to keep, but still retired as we knew it was always a possibility. Duncan has set a barrage of records,
, and set forth a culture on a team that looked at his leadership as the catalyst for everything great that happened over the past 20 years.
Duncan doesn’t do social media. He has no twitter account, there is no Facebook, and no Instagram page that you can go to, and interact with him at any moment.
He was a different guy, coming from a different era than what we are seeing today. He stayed in college for four years and worked his way all the way up to what we know him as today.
Along with the Los Angeles Lakers, the Spurs dominated the early 2000’s, both winning 5 championships a piece, and at one point there was a string of years that the finals showcased one of those two teams every single time which is amazing.
There are so many things you can recall during Duncan’s career, that it is hard to pick a favorite moment or favorite game, because he had so many, and he never stopped going.
One of the stories that came out about him was from Ex Washington Wizards Forward Etan Thomas. He recounted how Duncan taught him in the middle of a game how to attack him in the post, and encouraged him to keep working.
Dec 25, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs center Tim Duncan (21) looks for a pass against the Houston Rockets in the first half of a NBA basketball game on Christmas at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Here is my Tim Duncan story
So we’re playing the Spurs and I get the ball on the post. I inside pivot and sweep to the middle for my jump hook and he blocks it. So as we are running down the court he says to me “that was a good move but you have to get more into my body so you can either draw the foul or I can’t block it”. So I didn’t know if he was talking noise or what so just kind of looked at him confused and said ok. Then, a few plays later I did it again got more into his body and he couldn’t block it. I missed the shot and he looked at me and said much better and kept playing lol. I remember calling my boy Zee Chilton and telling him this story lol Tim Duncan is honestly one of the nicest guys in the NBA and one of the best power forwards ever. Respect
How could any opponent tell his foe how to get an advantage. Duncan was just that kind of guy. The teacher in him couldn’t help but to come out. He wasn’t jealous or insecure, but confident in what he did. So Duncan created a lasting impression on another big man, just being himself. That’s the kind of player that he was, a professional, that didn’t know any other way to do it.
So Monday, all of the NBA sent congrats, farewells and goodbyes to the Legendary Big Man, who started off as a swimmer. Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, Spurs teammates and young players all around the league who watched him play when they were just kids.
The importance of it all is that his legacy is set. Duncan had nothing left to prove, and he left the game when he wanted to leave. No pressure, no lights, just quietly.
What this means is the end of an era. The stars of those two teams that dominated an era are now gone from the NBA. The game has changed, becoming more perimeter oriented. There are no more post players to carry the mantle of the next great post presence. Free agents are now leaving teams sooner, and getting much more money to do so than during his time. Star players like to team up and play together for fun and for an advantage.
It’ll be difficult to create a culture like the one the Spurs have, because it’ll take a leader who is committed win lose or draw to his team. Along with tremendous skill it will take professionalism, a lot of self sacrifice and giving to others, even opponents.
The Tim Duncan Era of basketball is now gone. The game is changing and Duncan knew it. It’s time for the next generation to establish the future of NBA basketball.
They have the example set on how to do it, and anytime someone refers to how should a team play together, how they should conduct themselves, and how doing things the right way will work out in the end, they can look at Tim Duncan.