Tim Duncan Comments on Retirement, Career and More

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 13, 2016

FILE - In this Dec. 2, 2015, file photo, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, left, talks with forward Tim Duncan (21) during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks in San Antonio. They were joined at the hip for 19 years, a player and coach combination that enjoyed more wins than any in NBA history. And now that Duncan's playing days are done, Popovich is about to start anew in some respects.  (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File0
Eric Gay/Associated Press

Tim Duncan spoke to ViVid Streaming on Wednesday following his decision to retire from the NBA after his legendary 19-year career with the San Antonio Spurs

"It was amazing," Duncan said of his time in the NBA, per Quixem Ramirez of the San Antonio Express-News. "Not something I could have scripted."

He added"I can probably still play, but when it’s time, it’s time. And it’s time."

How, exactly, did he decide that now was the time to call it quits?

"I started not enjoying myself as much," he said, per Ramirez. "It wasn’t fun as much. When it’s not fun anymore, I’m done."

Not even a 67-win season and a trip to the Western Conference Semifinals was fun for Duncan anymore. 

Of course, after five NBA titles, 15 trips to the All-Star Game, two league MVP awards, three NBA Finals MVPs and the 1997-98 Rookie of the Year Award, achievements probably didn't matter as much to Duncan as they might have to other players.

Marc J. Spears of ESPN provided a full statement from Duncan on Wednesday:

Marc J. Spears @MarcJSpearsESPN

Tim Duncan statement https://t.co/W5VxFAmev0

The first overall pick in the 1997 NBA draft is a surefire, first-ballot Hall of Famer after averaging 19.0 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.2 blocks per game in his career. But Duncan, who will be remembered as much for his quiet demeanor and team-first attitude, isn't particularly concerned with where his legacy stands compared to the all-time greats.

"I don’t really care about [how] the ranking goes," he said, per Ramirez. "I’m in the conversation."

He added"It’s above and beyond everything I thought I would be."

Of course, he was quick to share the credit.

"I've always been blessed with amazing coaches," he noted, per Ramirez. "[Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich] always says, 'Don’t skip steps,' and I try not to skip steps."

He also thanked the city of San Antonio:

Quixem Ramirez @quixem

Tim Duncan on his appreciation for San Antonio. https://t.co/C7nESmXaCk

Perhaps nothing summed Duncan up better than when he talked about his competitive nature, however:

Quixem Ramirez @quixem

Tim Duncan on being an intense competitor. https://t.co/pMJJuffTlK

He added"I’ve always been a competitor whether it was running or playing soccer. I wanted to compete and be the best at what I was doing."

In his generation and certainly at the power forward position, he achieved just that.


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