By Shaquira Speaks
Earlier this week, the greatest power forward in league history has declared that the 2016 season had been his last. Timothy Theodore Duncan or “The Big Fundamental” as most know him, played his last game of his 19-year career against Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2016 playoffs. It was speculated all throughout the season if this would be his last, and the talks intensified during the playoffs, when he was having some of his worst games.
Time has passed and Greg Popovich is still having a hard time accepting the fact that number 21 won’t grace the court anymore. The sports world still can’t really believe its happening. I still can’t believe its happening.
I grew up a spurs fan, so Timmy is all I know. I grew up watching Duncan demolish other big bodies in the paint with his off-the-backboard hook shot. I sat there amazed to see how he could back down other giants from the perimeter, get them where he wanted, and spin around and kill them with a fade away jumper, then run back down the court and get back on defense like they’re still down 20.
The world is letting go of a legend, a man who brought the franchise their first championship in 1999 and then gave them four more. A legend who brought the team’s winning percentage up to .710 during his career and helped them never miss a postseason. Waving goodbye to a guy who has two MVP titles, three Finals MVP titles and has been an all-star 15 times.
Tim Duncan is no Kobe Bryant; he has no killer instinct. He is no Michael Jordan; he won’t come down the court, and pull up on his defender for a mid-range jumper. He is no LeBron James; he won’t jump six feet in the air to catch a lob from a teammate to slam it home and get the crowd on their feet. But he will assure you to lead the team in his non-verbal communication, and in his ability to stay focused on the game and not lose hope because they’re down 25 points in the fourth quarter with five minutes left to go. Players like Tim Duncan are hard to find, on and off the court.
Duncan made a huge impact on the court with his style of play and leadership. The Spurs will never be the same without a portion of the big three (Ginobili, Parker and Duncan). Yeah, they’ll be able to feed the ball to LaMarcus Aldridge or Pau Gasol, but it won’t be the same as seeing number 21 turn around for a guaranteed two point play. The AT&T center, the sports realm and I, will definitely miss his 6’11 frame stepping on the hardwood.