There’s a school of thought, prominently led by Charles Barkley, that if Tim Duncan wins a title with the Spurs this year he will call it quits right then and there. He will ride off into the sunset a champion. (If you subscribe to a school of thought led by Charles Barkley, you should probably rethink a few things in your life.)
There are others around the league that think he is done either way. He’s grown weary of the grind, it’s time to move on. Call it the “I’m too old for this s***” theory.
The more logical answer is that he, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are all under contract for one more year and the Spurs have been to back-to-back NBA Finals, they will give it one more shot together.
Whatever Duncan is thinking, he didn’t show a tell the day before the 2014 NBA Finals tip-off in San Antonio. Here is what Duncan said about retirement when asked on Wednesday.
“It will happen when it happens. I’ll feel it and I’ll know it and I’ll call it a day.”
Duncan may honestly have no idea what he wants to do, he may wait a couple of weeks after the season and then decide.
If he retires, he will announce it in a press release and have to be dragged to a press conference to meet the media one more time. He’d do it without fanfare, without a farewell tour. He’d just fade away if he had his choice.
It will not be that quiet. Whatever happens in these Finals Duncan’s legacy as (arguably) the greatest power forward in the history of the game is secure. There isn’t going to be another Tim Duncan.
But for our sake I hope we get to enjoy watching him play the game in a way few may ever again.
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