The wait is over. Tim Duncan's future is no longer a mystery. The greatest power forward of all time has announced that he will retire after 19 seasons.
There have been hints along that way that Duncan was leaning towards retirement. He opted in on his player option, unlike Manu Ginobili, which suggested he was not interested in renegotiating his deal. There were even reports from reputable sources that claimed he was not returning. Yet none of it felt real until the announcement. Duncan has been around for so long that it was hard to imagine the Spurs without him.
His last season clearly showed Father Time was finally catching up to him. Duncan posted career lows in minutes, points, rebounds and blocks per game. His numbers didn't seem worrying during the regular season, as he clearly accepted a smaller role to accommodate LaMarcus Aldridge, but he couldn't step up consistently during the postseason. Duncan averaged six points and five rebounds in the playoffs and struggled to stay on the court against the more athletic Thunder bigs.
Of course, one unremarkable season can't take the shine out of one of the most illustrious careers in NBA history. In 19 years in the NBA, Duncan was selected to be an All-Star 15 times. He made the All-NBA team 15 times as well, earning first team honors in 10 occasions. He was named Rookie of the Year, league MVP twice, Finals MVP three times and, more importantly, he retires a five-time NBA champion. He's undeniably one of the best to have ever played the game.
There are no words to thank Duncan enough for what he's meant to Spurs fans. Not only was he a role model on the court but also off it. He will join George Gervin and David Robinson in the pantheon of greats in franchise history but at least to this generation, he will always be the best to ever wear Silver and Black.
We at Pounding the Rock have nothing but gratitude for having had the chance to enjoy watching him play and cover at least a part of his career.
We will have more on this subject shortly. For now, let's just say it one more time. Thanks, Big Fun.