Spurs Legend Tim Duncan Announces Retirement After 19 Seasons


(Photo: Getty)

Make that two NBA all-timers who retired after the 2015-16 season.

San Antonio Spurs big man Tim Duncan has officially hung up his all-white dad shoes. While Kobe Bryant soaked up every moment of his final season by announcing his impending retirement beforehand, in typical Duncan fashion he left his intentions a mystery and let the team make the announcement official on Monday.

In 19 seasons, all with San Antonio, Duncan won five championships and consecutive MVP awards in 2002 and 2003. He's sixth all-time in playoff scoring, third in playoff rebounds, and first in playoff blocks.

After failing to score more than eight points in any of the Spurs' first nine playoff games in 2016, the 40-year-old put up 19 points in what's now his final NBA game, in which his team was eliminated by the Oklahoma City Thunder. Though head coach Gregg Popovich acted as if he weren't going to his aging big man because it might have been his last game.

"Why do you say that?" Popovich responded when asked if he'd just witnessed Duncan's last contest. "Do you know something that I don't know? I just wanted to make that clear. Tim was playing really well. So we played him as much as we possibly could because he earned the minutes. He really did a good job."

In the fourth quarter, Popovich asked the future Hall of Famer if he wanted to keep playing.

"I always want to play," the forward said. "So he said to go for it. That was the end of it. So I stayed out there the whole time." He played 34:25 of the game, his fourth-highest minutes total of the season.

Despite his playing in a reduced role as a rim-protecting center for his last handful of seasons, Duncan averaged 19 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2.2 blocks per game for his career.

Because he's mostly known for an unfortunately labeled "boring," "old man" game, many forget that when he entered the league, Duncan blended his all-around skills with a smoothness and athleticism rarely seen in seven-footers.

So, for a proper send-off, here's a reminder that—in addition to being the footwork-loving bank shot master—Duncan was also a freakish beast as a youngster.