Tim Duncan has yet to officially announce his plans beyond this season. He’s going into the final year of a three-year contract, and it’s widely assumed that this will be it, but he hasn’t officially confirmed that. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is hoping that changes, telling ESPN Dallas he plans to honor Duncan at the last Mavs-Spurs game if this is indeed it.
“If we get word that it’s his last year here, we’ll do something special,” said Cuban, who would similarly honor former Mavs Steve Nash and Jason Terry if they make it clear they plan to retire at the end of the season. “We did the same thing for David Robinson. I’m hoping Tim will bless us with those words.”
Cuban, of course, shouldn’t count on any word from Duncan by March 24, the date of the Mavs’ second and final home game against the Spurs this season. For one, Duncan probably doesn’t know for sure what his plans are. If he stays healthy and productive in his 18th season, he could decide to play a couple more years, especially if the Spurs experience another heartbreaking Finals loss like 2013. Duncan isn’t going to tell anybody his plans until then, least of all the owner of one of his team’s long-standing rivals.
Plus, it’s just not Duncan’s style give people the opportunity to plan a huge farewell tour in his honor. He’s one of the 10 greatest players of all time and a guaranteed future Hall of Famer, but he’s always shied away from the spotlight during his career, turning down the commercial opportunities his peers jumped at and staying in small-market San Antonio his entire career.
The best way to honor Duncan on his way out is to do nothing at all. That’s the way he’d want it.