Being the best isn’t just about posting up stats and beating your chest. It’s about how you carry yourself on and off the court.
After 19 years, the San Antonio Spurs will no longer have Tim Duncan on their roster. He came a long way from his humble beginnings in Wake Forest. Duncan started out with quite the mentor in All-Star center David Robinson.
They would eventually win two titles together, with the victory over the Knicks in 1999 being in Duncan’s second season. The Nets, Pistons, Cavaliers and Heat all fell victim to Duncan in championship glory. He wound up becoming the NBA Finals MVP in ‘99, 2003 and ’05.
Duncan is considered one of the best big men of all time, and that’s not a crazy claim. He sits 14th on the all-time scoring list, sixth in rebounds, fifth in blocks and seventh in games played. He also won back-to-back MVPs for the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons.
Yet, it’s not about the stats with Duncan. How could they be? Duncan’s achievements will stand the test of time in the annals of the NBA and the Sours franchise.
It’s how he did it. He wasn’t the flashiest guy on town. He didn’t beat his chest after every shot, saying how great he was. He just clocked in and got the job done.
And now, Tim Duncan walks away with his head held high. However, where does that leave the San Antonio Spurs?
Rest easy, Spurs fans. Your team will be just fine with their roster of young players and veterans.
Kawhi Leonard is now the face of the Spurs, and he’s an NBA Finals MVP himself. Filling the void at Duncan’s spot is LaMarcus Aldridge, who played last season with Duncan. Backing him up is Pau Gasol, who will gel nicely with Aldridge in the frontcourt.
Granted, Tim Duncan’s absence will be felt by everyone. It will take getting used to not seeing No. 21 on the San Antonio Spurs’ scorecard.
But in the case of legacies, Tim Duncan’s will carry on through his teammates and the Spurs franchise. Duncan became a valuable commodity for the Spurs and the NBA. He stayed on the Spurs for his entire career, which seems like a rarity these days. He’s the ideal role model you could want to look up to: a good man.
That’s what the NBA will miss for the 2016-17 season. Tim Duncan is a good man who just wanted to play, but he ended that by hanging up the jersey on July 11.
Nothing else can be said. All that’s left is goodbye and thank you. We’ll miss you, Tim Duncan.
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