In the middle of the 2016 offseason, Tim Duncan, the greatest power forward of all time, announced his retirement in classic Timmy fashion, through a San Antonio Spurs team press release with no fan fare. After 19 tremendous seasons with the Spurs, here are some fun facts about the legendary 40-year-old b-baller.
Tim swims. Timmy grew up in St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He originally wanted to be a swimmer like both of his older sisters (one of whom competed for the U.S. in the 1988 Olympics). But when a hurricane destroyed the only Olympic-sized pool in St. Croix, Timmy gave up on swimming and his brother-in-law encouraged him to pick up basketball. He was a freshman in high school when he started playing.
The college years. Timmy is one of the few NBA superstars that completed college. As a top prospect, he could have left school early for the NBA draft, but he promised his mom that he would complete college before she passed away from breast cancer when he was 14. After Timmy graduated with a major in Psychology from Wake Forest, he was drafted #1 by the Spurs.
The greatest of all time. Timmy was known as “The Big Fundamental” because he played simple and consistent ball, including a killer bank shot and stellar defense. He was a consummate professional and team player. He helped lead the NBA’s 4th smallest market team to 5 NBA titles, winning 2 NBA MVP awards and playing in 15 All-Star games on the way. Together with teammates Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, they won the highest percentage of games for any trio in NBA history. Throughout his career, he was coached by basketball genius and legendary curmudgeon Gregg Popovich. The duo won 1,001 games—the most of any player-coach pair.
The enigma. Off the court, Timmy avoided the limelight, so he didn’t get many advertising contracts (except for these fantastic local grocery spots). He was a big nerd, loving Dungeons & Dragons and Renaissance fairs. The Onion frequently roasted his stoic demeanor with articles like: “Tim Duncan Reports 5th Straight Successful New Year’s Resolution” and “Tim Duncan Hams It Up For Crowd By Arching Left Eyebrow Slightly.”
One thing’s for sure, Spurs fans will miss him very much. #ThankYouTim