Tim Duncan, the cornerstone of the San Antonio Spurs franchise for almost 20 years, has announced that he is retiring from the NBA after 19 seasons with the team that drafted him.
Duncan was the face of the San Antonio Spurs even in the first half of his career, when he paired with legendary Spurs center David Robinson to form the NBA’s most formidable “Twin Towers” combination en route to NBA championships in 1999 and 2003. French point guard Tony Parker joined the Spurs in 2001, with versatile swingman Manu Ginobili of Argentina joining in 2002; and upon Robinson’s retirement, the tandem of Duncan, Ginobili and Parker would carry the Spurs to two more championships in 2005 and 2007. With the emergence of burgeoning Spurs star Kahwi Leonard, the team won another championship with Duncan, defeating the highly-touted Miami Heat in 2014.
Over the course of his 19 years, Duncan became renowned for his remarkable consistency and steely demeanor. Dubbed “The Big Fundamental” by Shaquille O’Neal, because of his effective-but-rudimentary style of play, Duncan would earn MVP honors twice in his career, was named Finals MVP three times, was a 15-time NBA All Star (winning All Star MVP in 2000), was named to the All-NBA First Team 10 times, made the All-NBA Defensive First Team 7 times and was the Rookie of the Year back in 1997.
According to NBA.com, since drafting the superstar power forward from Wake Forest back in 1997, the Spurs have won five championships and posted a 1,072-438 regular season record, giving the team a .710 winning percentage, which is the best 19-year stretch in NBA history and was the best in all of the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB over the last 19 years.
Fans reacted to the news of Timmy hanging up his sneakers. Check out the Twitter responses below.
Tim Duncan hung up his jersey for pleated front Dockers and a steady rotation of wrinkled Kurt Cobain flannels
— Tweetgood Mac (@SnottieDrippen) July 11, 2016
Tim Duncan hands down was a class act. Definitely enjoyed watching him play.
— Keven Stonewall (@thatkevenguy) July 11, 2016
Tim Duncan actually retired a few days ago, but he sent it via carrier pigeon, so we just found out.
— Robert Mays (@robertmays) July 11, 2016
Tim Duncan's retirement was the most Tim Duncan thing ever.
— Veronica's Son (@KoolestKidOut) July 11, 2016
Gotdamn. The Spurs won 71 percent of their games with Tim Duncan. Over the span of 19 seasons. Bruh gotdamn
— Drip Drano (@MadBlackPoet) July 11, 2016
“Tim Duncan and Me” by Shea Serrano https://t.co/A4C9awgw3E
— RHYS HILLMAN (@rhyshillman) July 11, 2016
Waking up to the news of Tim Duncan retiring
— MEL❃ (@MelissaMartini_) July 11, 2016