May 12th, 2016 was the final time Tim Duncan played at the AT&T Center. After having one of the best seasons EVER for the San Antonio Spurs Franchise, they lost the Oklahoma City Thunder 4-2. Tim Duncan left the San Antonio Spurs and the National Basketball Association (NBA) the same way he played for years, without any noise.
Looking back, his career was spent as one of the all-time greatest power forwards in the game. After the 19 years he dedicated to us, it is important for us to remember the story of Tim Duncan and how he became the greatest San Antonio Spurs player to ever play!
Before his time as the face of the Spurs ticket and top jersey seller, Tim Duncan was raised in the United States Virgin Islands. Never did Tim Duncan think he was going to be on the San Antonio Spurs player or even a NBA player when growing up.
Tim Duncan originally wanted to be a swimmer! He aimed to be on the 1992 Olympic USA team but, due to a hurricane destroying the only training site, he had to resort to the ocean. Unfortunately for him but thankfully for Spurs fans, he quickly lost his passion due to a fear of sharks.
Tim Duncan also had another emotional change in his life when his mother was diagnosed with cancer. Sadly, this led to her death the day before his birthday. Tim Duncan and his siblings promised their mother that they would complete college. This became his highest motivation.
When he picked up basketball in the 9th grade, he quickly gained attention from Wake Forest and other schools as well. When the future San Antonio Spurs player left for Wake Forest, little did he know that he would become one of the most dominating players in NCAA history!
During his time at Wake Forest, he equally balanced his dedication to basketball with his dedication to get his degree. After many years of rumors of him declaring for the draft, he did not because of his promise to his mother.
At the end of his freshman year, after a rough start, Tim Duncan led his team to a 20-11 win-loss record and got selected for the Goodwill Games. During his sophomore year, he was rumored to going pro but always decided to stay in school. The future Spurs legend took his team past Rasheed Wallace and the North Carolina Tar Heels in the ACC Championship game. In the NCAA Tournament, he made it to the Sweet 16 but sadly fell short to Bryant Reeves and Oklahoma State University. During his 3rd season from 1995-1996, Timmy got to step up as a leader and with his team won the ACC Finals again. He almost made it to the Final Four but, sadly, Tim Duncan was fighting the flu.
Rumors started up again about him declaring but Tim Duncan reminded the world that he would stay one more season for his degree. The 1996-97 team started off very strong but slowed to a loss during the ACC Championship and a quick elimination in the NCAA Tournament.
Tim Duncan was a special case in the NBA. In a time where players like Kobe Bryant flew straight to the NBA from high school, Tim Duncan decided to get a full education. He studied psychology, Chinese literature, and anthropology. The future San Antonio Spurs first round first pick was also a 2 time ACC Player of the Year and a 3 time NABC Defensive Player of the Year. Tim Duncan was also named the MVP of the 96 tournament. The future San Antonio Spurs Legend lead in his college for all-time leading rebounder and he remains of the 10 players with 2,000 career points and 1500 rebounds.
When declaring for the draft, the entire world knew that the San Antonio Spurs would pick him as the first overall pick, even though Chauncey Billips and Tracy McGrady were available in the draft. This lead to the beginning of the San Antonio Spurs Dynasty.