I remember when Kobe Bryant started this retirement world tour and everyone started saying how Bryant might be the greatest player of all time. The debate kept going on and on and I kept wondering why people thought that.
Bryant wasn’t even the best player of his own generation. No. That honor belongs to Tim Duncan.
Duncan quietly walked away from the game today. He didn’t have this long retirement tour. Much like his demeanor, he kept it quiet and simple. That’s why people don’t give Duncan all that attention. He doesn’t seek it. But if you look at all he has done, he deserves more.
He is the greatest #1 overall pick in NBA history. He is the greatest player to ever play the power forward position. He won five titles and in his 19 seasons, he was so consistent. He sacrificed money to help ensure that the Spurs could keep certain key players. He was dependable and during his time with the Spurs, he helped establish a dynasty that was equally dependable.
He wasn’t about crazy gimmicks or loud proclamations. And maybe some don’t like that. Some people want their athletes to be loud. But for Duncan, he didn’t do that. Duncan gave us an occasional odd fashion choice but other than that, he kept his public persona pretty private. He showed up to the court, helped his team win, and disappear back into the shadows.
Enjoy your retirement, Timmy. You deserve it. And you will get to ride off into the sunset the way you wanted. Now with a big celebration. But a quiet exit out the backdoor when we weren’t paying attention.
But looking at all you have done, we know you were here and we thank you.