Tha Sports Junkies 101

Thank You Tim Duncan

Tim Duncan Photo via Flickr



San Antonio is kind of like a black hole. There are minor league teams and clubs but at the end of the day, the most popular sports franchise is the Spurs. Black shirts dot the entire city like a funeral procession. This isn’t wise in the Texas heat but no one seems to mind. The shirts stand for something huge in the city. They stand for an identity.

Tim, Tony, and Manu are something like legends in this area. Their triumphs and battles are passed down as if they were folklore. They are held in such high regard that they potentially have more pull than the Mayor. They can do no wrong because they have done so much. No one speaks about any shortcomings or failures because they don’t matter in this Cinderella story.

Every year, a community forms around the AT&T Center and it extends far beyond San Antonio. Families, friends, and strangers all come together for two and half hours to watch a familiar sight. At the forefront of that familiar sight is Tim Duncan. He is a fun loving goofball who happens to be really, really good at basketball. Even when he isn’t the star of the show, he gets the most applause. A fan favorite in the truest sense. No one will ever eclipse him in the city.

There’s a common idiom among NBA fans. Father Time could not catch up to Tim Duncan. He would be timeless because his game was so timeless. This is why his retirement comes off as a shock. He was smooth in the post, could turn over both shoulders, and could bury a shot in your face if needed. As younger players came into the league faster, taller, and more athletic than ever, Mr. Fundamental would still find a way to get it done. He wasn’t going to retire anytime soon. He was going to continue to entertain us until he was 60.

Tim Duncan is the reason for the joy the Spurs fans experience during the season. This is true even now that he is retired. Without him being drafted in ’97, it’s hard to imagine a world where the Spurs could have possibly been this well off. He created a domino effect that ultimately led to the team the Spurs have now.

Through his leadership and dedication to his team, the Spurs were able to cultivate a culture of success. It took a while, but for the first time ever the Spurs are landing free agents with names bigger than their market. This is because when one thinks about the Spurs, they think about greatness. Being able to count on Tim Duncan allowed RC Buford to deliver a product that now stands on its own among NBA circles. His selflessness, ensured the success of Pop’s system that was created around him. “Spurs Basketball” now has meaning. That is Tim Duncan’s Legacy.

You can count all the stats but without context, they become just another Hall of Fame resume. All the points, all NBA teams, and MVP’s mean so much more than what is presented at face value. Because of that, I would like to thank Tim Duncan.

Thank you, Tim Duncan, for arriving in San Antonio with the intent of playing along side David Robinson. You willingly played along side David as you developed during your first NBA season.

Thank you, Tim Duncan, for being the ultimate teammate since day one. Your relationship with your peers has been mythical in nature and inspiring to all.

Thank you, Tim Duncan, for choosing to re-sign in this small market and make it your home. You gave the people of this city so much hope during your tenure here, and will continue to do so in the future.

Thank you, Tim Duncan, for embracing and working with Tony and Manu. You helped create two heroes.

Thank you, Tim Duncan, for the five championships. Coming together to celebrate on the Riverwalk has been a sort of tradition and has a special place in this city.

Thank you, Tim Duncan, for being the leader of the Spurs on and off the court for your entire career. No only were you the greatest power forward of all time, you led by example in the locker room with your attitude.

Thank you, Tim Duncan, for taking a cut in pay just to stay with the organization. You didn’t owe us anything but you decided to help us build towards a future.

Thank you, Tim Duncan, for aging gracefully. You willingly allowed for the development of Tony and Manu, and more recently, Kawhi and LaMarcus. You laid the foundation for the future through your selflessness.

Thank you, Tim Duncan, for being you. You mean so much to this city, it’s people, and the NBA itself. We will miss you during the NBA season as your presence will never be replicated. You have given so much to the game and deserved to go out on your own terms. While we respect your decision to retire, we wish you wouldn’t have left so soon.