tim-duncan-retires

After 19 seasons in San Antonio, Tim Duncan is finally hanging up his Spurs.

The announcement came with little public fanfare or massive publicity. He wouldn’t go on the massive retirement tour of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or even Kobe Bryant because it wasn’t his style. Nor was it ever his style to be flashy or even grand. There may be a press conference later this week and then that will be it. Tim Duncan’s one personality trait, if you could call it one was consistency.

Since June 25, 1997 until today, the San Antonio Spurs had been the most successful franchise in American pro sports. All five of their NBA titles came on Duncan’s watch. They never missed the playoffs, won at least 50 games in 18 of Duncan’s 19 seasons (they went 37-13 in the 50 game lockout season of 1999), played in the Western Conference Finals nine times and won five NBA championships. As a power forward, Duncan led the Spurs to over 1,000 wins and finished his NBA career 17th all-time in scoring, 5th in blocks, 7th in rebounds, 8th in games played, two NBA MVP awards (2001-02, 2002-03), 15 All-Star game appearances (one All-Star Game MVP in 1999-2000) and three NBA Finals MVP awards.

Whether you adhere to a certain slice of flair with players or not, Duncan did it all with two real moves. A bank shot from multiple angles and a spin move in the post. That’s it. And depending on how you view the NBA in a post Michael Jordan world, the rank of best player in the league effectively went as so since 1999: Shaq, Duncan, LeBron. He and Kobe Bryant will forever joust for the position of where they fit sandwiched between O’Neal & LeBron in terms of Best in the League.

Tim Duncan probably wouldn’t care about that.

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