It is no secret that the San Antonio Spurs have gotten back into contention. It is, regrettably, also no secret that the Spurs have fallen short every year since 2008. Many factors have been pointed to for this event (Manu Ginobili's unfortunate injuries, Matt Bonner turning into his Alter Ego the Invisible Man and doffing his Red Rocket persona), but the elephant in the room is that while Tim Duncan is still a very good basketball player, he's not the dominant big man he used to be.
But the fact remains that Timmeh has lead the Spurs to four NBA championships, two alongside David Robinson and three with Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili (for those wondering why it doesn't quite add up, 2003 saw all four players in silver and black) and has never lost in the NBA Finals. Most players would give up big money just to chase a championship (why else would Ray Allen and Steve Nash take less money?); even a lot of great players retired without a ring (Karl Malone is 0-3 in the Finals as the best example) so Duncan having four championships is already a surfeit relative to other players.
It's also interesting in that we Spurs fans are so invested in the idea of the Spurs winning it all again and getting Duncan his fifth. It's not surprising (of course every fan of each team wants a championship, but certain fanbases can wait whilst we only have three years at most to attain this), but at this point of his career, what more does Tim Duncan have to prove?
He's already an all time great (4 championships, 3 Finals MVPs, 2 season MVPs, a record amount of All-NBA and All-Defensive nods) and is definitely in my top 10 all time list. He's proving that even at his age of 36 he can still score, rebound, and defend, even if he desperately needs help in that regard. The fact that he hasn't really dropped off despite a long career with degenerative injuries (see that knee brace?) should speak volumes.
Perhaps as Spurs fans we just want a fifth ring so bad as a form of catharsis: We see the media idolize a certain purple and gold wearing bean as the second coming of Jordan, with five rings and possibly a sixth along the way. If the Spurs won it all within the next three years whilst the Lakers didn't, it would allow us to argue especially to the "COUNT THE RINGS" people that Duncan is higher up the list than that guy.
Of course, I'd like to see the Spurs winning it all while embarrassing the Lakers on the way. But I'd be satisfied even if they didn't, because what is there to prove?