Once the San Antonio Spurs incredible run and the playoffs finally come to a close, free agency will be right around the corner, and all the curious unrestricted free agents will force their owners to become nervous wrecks as they get their juicy chance to test the free-agent market.
So, what are Tim Duncan’s plans as he goes into this market in this position?
I’m not going anywhere,” Duncan told Yahoo! Sports. “You can print that wherever you want to. I’m here, and I’m a Spur for life.“
Even though this isn’t “breaking news” since The Big Fundamental has been in San Antonio since he came into the league in 1997 (second longest current tenure with one franchise behind Kobe Bryant), it is certainly different news as Duncan follows in his team’s footsteps by going against today’s NBA grain.
Since the 2004-2005 season, only 17 players have remained with the team they were on that year. A player deciding to stay with one franchise for their entire career does not happen like it used to.
Carmelo Anthony. Dwight Howard. Josh Smith. LeBron James.
These are just some of the names that personify the era the league is currently in. All of these players went out of their way to either proclaim their desire to go to another team and/or force their team into a trade. Even a man by the name of Shaquille O’Neal collected three rings with an esteemed Lakers franchise but demanded to be shipped out of Los Angeles. He got what he wanted.
The drama that coincides with these actions has never been a part of Duncan’s way of going about his business on the court or off the court. Even though Timmy has had the tendency to complain about certain calls with his eyes throughout his career, he has toned this down as he has gotten older and wiser. Also, this is probably the most dramatic you will ever see Duncan; he has a distinctive, controlled demeanor that spreads throughout his team.
Duncan plans to remain loyal to the small sports market (like he cares) that gave him a chance to play in a professional basketball league. (Dwight Howard told me he doesn’t quite understand where Duncan is coming from with this move.) He doesn’t care about how much money he could possibly make by signing with a championship aspiring team as so many players do toward the end of their careers.
Because of this commitment, the Spurs management have also stuck right beside Duncan, through the thick and thin (even though there has been little thin). While most owners desire to move pieces around after just a few unsuccessful seasons in order to try and vault right up to the top, the Spurs have never shown any desire to part ways with their Hall of Fame Power Forward.
Now, before you start thinking Mr. Duncan is undoubtedly an unwavering servant to the city of San Antonio and has the Alamo tattooed on his back, it can’t be forgotten that Duncan has won four championships with this franchise and is currently in the Western Conference Finals. He probably couldn’t be doing much better anywhere else in the league.
However, in a league with a current foundation of superstars and players forming teams through their own actions, Duncan is still deciding to do what he intended to do when he left Wake Forest: play basketball. Instead of playing games with management by threatening to leave or visiting other organizations, Duncan did what he has always done when he stated that he will be staying with the Spurs – he is staying out the limelight.
Luckily for the San Antonio Spurs fan base, they will have the privilege of getting to see him use the backboard until he decides to bank it in no more. Once that time comes, he can look back on a career unlike any other from his time in the NBA.
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