Tim Duncan May Retire in the Most Tim Duncan-esque Way

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Tim Duncan May Retire in the Most Tim Duncan-esque Way

 

San Antonio Spurs legend Tim Duncan may have played the final game of his illustrious 19-year career against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals.

Duncan, 40, still has the tools and heart to play the game, but physically, is not on the same page with his skills. He’s considered the greatest power forward to grace the court; one of the most accomplished players this league has seen; maybe the most respected player ever.

If May 12, 2016 was the date Duncan would hang up his sneakers, he went riding into the sunset in the most Tim Duncan-esque way.

So, will Tim Duncan return in the 2016-2017 campaign to contend for one last championship with the extremely talented San Antonio Spurs? What if he retires? How much of an impact would that have on the team? Sure, Tim Duncan is not what he used to be—averaged a productive 8.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.7 assists while shooting 48.8% this season—he still has the ability to be a great voice in the locker room, mentor young players, and play about twenty minutes per game.

One aspect of his game that has not diminished one bit is his defense. His reported 7’3” wingspan while standing 6’11” allows him to contest almost every shot in the paint. Playing in the league 19 years, Duncan knows how to properly defend a shot without committing a foul, to say the least. He is more valuable than most people think. Other than his skill, what sets Tim Duncan apart from the rest? He’s one of the most calmly demeanored players in the league, and shows little emotion.

Much different than Duncan, Kobe Bryant went out with a bang. Prior to the 2015-16 season, Bryant announced his retirement and was treated like a king all season long. Night-in-and-night-out, celebrities filled Staples Center to watch the “Black Mamba” play his final games as a Laker. Even on the road, fans came out of the woodwork to watch the final days of Kobe Bryant.

Duncan is not about that lifestyle. Speaking to the media after San Antonio’s Game 6 loss to Oklahoma City which eliminated them from the 2016 postseason, Duncan left questions about his future plans unanswered, responding,

 

“I’ll get to that after I get out of here and figure out life. That’s it.”

 

Whether or not Tim Duncan will retire is still up in the air. Every NBA fan—whether a Spurs fan or not—would love to have the privilege of watching Duncan take one more crack at a sixth championship.

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