I used to hate Tim Duncan. With his stoic, blank game face, tipping the rebound in at just the right time, and of course, he was always winning.
I used to hate those Tim Duncan American Express Commercials (Google it kiddies), where he’d be in a negotiating situation and the other person is blabbing on and on while Tim sat there with his game face, making them nervous to the point that they gave him what he wanted.
I hated that he was this-close to joining the Orlando Magic with Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady but was pulled away by his wife or girlfriend (or whatever), instead returning to this San Antonio Spurs to become the franchise that all others in the NBA aspire to be. Now the Magic are in a shambles and he’s got a jillion championship rings.
I guess that makes me a Tim Duncan “Hater”. But when I look at what he’s accomplished in his career, you can’t help but give him his due respect:
19 NBA seasons, five NBA titles, two MVP awards.
Duncan is one of only three players in NBA history to win 1,000 career regular-season games, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Robert Parish. He is also one of only two players to win an NBA title in three different decades (John Salley).
Duncan retires ranked 14th in points (26,496), sixth in rebounds (15,091) and fifth in blocks (3,020) in the regular season for his career. He is one of four players to rank in the top 15 in all three categories, joining Abdul-Jabbar, Hakeem Olajuwon and Shaquille O’Neal.
His tally of 157 postseason wins ranks second. He ranks sixth in points (5,172), third in rebounds (2,859) and first in double-doubles (164) in postseason history.
Duncan is one of three players to win the Wooden Award, NBA Rookie of the Year, NBA MVP, NBA Finals MVP and NBA All-Star Game MVP, joining Larry Bird and Michael Jordan.
The stats go on and on. His coach Greg Popovic cried as he addressed the press while talking to him. Popovic terrorizes reporters regularly, but this was his guy, practically like a son for 19 years. “It’s impossible to say goodbye” coach Pop said.
So while I was a hater, I cannot hate on his excellence. Congratulations Tim on an amazing career. You can put the game face away now.