When you’re one of the biggest NBA stars in history – a 5-time NBA Champion, 3-time Finals MVP, 2-time league MVP and 14-time All-Star, among other accolades – if you want to be on the cover of a comic book, you get to be on the cover of a comic book. San Antonio Spurs star Tim Duncan’s love of Marvel’s Punisher has never been much of a secret, as the typically-quiet and reserved future Hall-of-Famer wears a white skull knee brace, among other comic-themed designs, to tell the league not to screw with his old bones, and the brooding loner has been Duncan’s Halloween costume of choice for at least a few years.
But now his fanfare is being immortalized on the cover of an upcoming issue, as Duncan will hand the keys to a new ride over to Frank Castle himself. The cover of the issue, which hits stands on October 25, was drawn by San Antonio native Michael Choi, who told NBA.com that he’s a “bigger basketball nerd than comic book nerd,” and naturally he’s a huge fan of Duncan.
“None of this would have happened if Tim wasn’t a huge Marvel fan and The Punisher specifically. I really love that he’s proud of the fact that he’s a big comic book fan, and I always got a kick out of reading about him dressing up as The Punisher for Halloween, and incorporating the Punisher’s logo on his knee brace. Everyone who knows about Tim Duncan beyond what he does on the court knows that about him, and as a comic book guy myself, I think that’s awesome.” (Via NBA.com)
Basically, Duncan and the guys at his BlackJack Speed Shop – his three loves are basketball, comic books and cars, in no specific order – asked Marvel if they could design a new car for the Punisher, and of course Marvel said yes, because it’s Tim-f*cking-Duncan. Then Duncan took it a step further and decided that the team at BlackJack would actually build the car that they designed and auction it off for charity.
If the day ever comes that someone reveals something unbelievably terrible about Duncan, I will eat a Spurs jersey. Okay, maybe not an actual Spurs jersey, because that’s a lot of mesh to pass, but I will at least eat a great steak and ruin it by pouring steak sauce on it.