It’s not everyday that the greatest player in their position in their sport calls it quits and retires. Today is one of those days. Tim Duncan; the greatest Power Forward in NBA history retired after his incredible 19 year career with the San Antonio Spurs. In typical Tim Duncan fashion, he announced it without any buzz whatsoever.
There are a host of great players that played at the PF position; Charles Barkley and Karl Malone just to name a couple. Both these players, along with many others have admitted that, as great as they were, they will always be in the shadow of Tim Duncan.
Tim Duncan is known as the boring and quiet superstar. He was never one for the cameras and for interviewers. There was never controversy surrounding him, or stories of rivalries or personal beefs with other players. All he did throughout his illustrious career was play basketball, for one reason only; to win.
Since Tim Duncan was drafted by the Spurs in 1997, they have had the best winning percentage across all 4 major American sports. A testament to Tim Duncan’s quality as a basketball player, let alone his leadership. He, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are the greatest ‘Big 3’ in NBA history, with more wins than any other ‘Big 3’ ever. He and Gregg Popovich have the best record across all major American sports between a player and a coach. No matter what circumstance you look at, Tim Duncan was a winner.
He will never be advertised or as famous as others from his era like Kobe and Shaq, but he never wanted to be. All he wanted to be was a classy person and a great basketball player. He accomplished both of these things like nobody else ever has. Retiring with 5 rings, 3 Finals MVPs and 2 MVPs, and countless other accolades, he is unquestionably one of the 10 greatest players ever and the greatest Power Forward ever.
It is weird to think that next season will be an NBA season that doesn’t have Kobe Bryant on the Lakers or Tim Duncan on the Spurs. The last time that happened was 1995. The year I was born. Tim Duncan’s ability to remain a consistent winner throughout his entire NBA career is nothing short of remarkable and something we’ve never seen before. Before his arrival, the Spurs, although they had a strong team and superstar David Robinson, had never won a championship. After Tim Duncan’s departure, there are only three teams (Celtics, Lakers, Bulls) with more NBA championships than San Antonio. A man that changed the NBA, who showed it wasn’t about being the most advertised or most hyped, it wasn’t about 360 and alley oop dunks, it wasn’t about having the most lucrative shoe deal or playing in the biggest market. It was about doing the fundamentals so perfectly that nobody could have an answer for you.
In the tail end of his career, he has taken pay cuts and been a mentor to upcoming talent and paved the way so that the Spurs, along with their new superstar Kawhi Leonard are in a great place and will always remain competitive. Another testament to the loyalty and desire to win of Tim Duncan.
The praises have been coming in all day for the NBA legend. But we will all be suprised if he is looking. Players and teams he competed against have had nothing but high praise for him today. Showering him with compliment after compliment. And he probably hasn’t even noticed. Typical Tim Duncan. The Greatest Power Forward Ever. #THANKYOUTD