When the San Antonio Spurs captured the fifth title of Tim Duncan‘s career this past spring, the thought of retirement flitted across his purview. Duncan, who will turn 39 in April next year, had just completed his 17th season in an NBA career where he’s achieved just about everything you can on an NBA hardwood. Still, with a chance to capture back-to-back titles for the first time in his career, Duncan wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye — though the idea stayed with him for some time, as he told reporters during San Antonio’s media day on Friday.
“There was some hesitation there,” Duncan said, by way of the San Antonio Express-News of coming back. “But it came back to maybe being able to do (win the title) again. As long as I’m feeling I can, and I feel good about it, this is where I want to be.”
Duncan had a $10.4 million player option for the 2014-15 season, the last year on his current deal and a natural stopping point if he does want to step away.
The Big Fundamental is probably the greatest power forward of all time, even if Popovich often uses him — and used him throughout his career — as a center. He’s got five titles in 17 seasons, 14 all-star appearances, a pair of MVP awards, 10 All-NBA First Team selections (four Second team selections and a Third Team) — including his most recent during the 2012-13 season. He is also largely a mystery to those outside the Spurs organization and family, which makes us love him even more, even if we’re hungry to learn as much about him as we can.
Duncan’s marathon man status can partially be attributed to an increased emphasis on staying trim in order to alleviate the burden ballooning weight can put on the knees. The knees are what undid Shaq and a lot of ther dominant centers over the years. Human’s aren’t supposed to be as tall or as large as Duncan and his ilk are, but TD’s fitness is what’s kept him so productive and efficent for such an extended stretch of time.
“I feel good,” he told reporters yesterday. “I had a good summer of work and I think I’m in pretty decent shape conditioning-wise. I look forward to getting out and playing more basketball.”
We hope he always feels good and we never see a day when Duncan isn’t at Spurs media day. Unfortunately, this might be his last.
Will this be Duncan’s last season?
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