When Tim Duncan hangs up his jersey for the final time, the NBA will be left with an gaping hole that will never be replaced.
Since 1997, when he was taken with the first overall pick, Duncan has shaped himself into one of the greatest players that the league has ever seen. Duncan's skill set was unique, consisting of a focus on fundamentals, defense and passing. However, this did not stop him from being a scoring force as well.
Once the dreaded press conference is held, and Duncan's retirement is final, a door will close in the world of basketball. However, when one door closes, another one opens, and while basketball may be losing a legend, a new generation looks to bring what was lost.
Duncan is irreplaceable, but it is foolish to say the hole he leaves will forever be left empty. While none of them will ever reach Duncan's legendary status, there are a few players in the league whose skill sets remind us of Duncan. These young stars have bright futures, and if they live up to their potential, Duncan's hole may be somewhat filled.