Five-times NBA champion Tim Duncan has announced his retirement from basketball. The 40-year-old’s decision brings to an end the forward’s glittering 19-year spell with the San Antonio Spurs.
Duncan, the first overall pick in the 1997 NBA Draft, made the playoffs in each of his 19 seasons and became the only player to have reached 1,000 wins with one team.
A two-time MVP, Duncan is one of only three players to have spent 19 seasons with one franchise along with John Stockton and Kobe Bryant.
“A lot of people are going to try to say oh he’s the best power forward of all time. I think that’s too narrow,” ESPN NBA writer Brian Windhorst said.
“He’s one of the 10 best players of all time. His impact goes so much beyond his position.
Checked every box
“The majority of the players in the league now grew up watching him, their memories as children are of him winning championships with the Spurs.
“He’s literally checked off every box you could imagine and several that he invented.”
The Spurs were upset in the Western Conference semifinals by Oklahoma City Thunder in May and Duncan said shortly after the defeat he was contemplating his future.
He leaves as a 15-time NBA All-Star and the Spurs’ all-time leader in scoring, rebounds and blocks.
Duncan, who is six feet 11 inches tall, was a relative latecomer to basketball, having grown up in the Virgin Islands, and initially focused on swimming.
His reserved nature kept him out of the limelight and earned him widespread respect and admiration within basketball and beyond.