Tim Duncan – Goodbye and Good Riddance

Dec 18, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (21) forward Manu Ginobili (20) and forward Kawhi Leonard (2) against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 18, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (21) forward Manu Ginobili (20) and forward Kawhi Leonard (2) against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Dear Tim,

Get lost and don’t come back.

Coldest Regards,

Kyle Fleeger

Does that strike you as rude? Sorry, not sorry. I’m not sorry Tim Duncan retired. I’m not sorry I’ll never have to watch him simultaneously cry about calls while crushing my dreams. I’m not sorry that Duncan to me was a center, and therefore could never be argued as the greatest power forward in NBA history. I’m not sorry he lost to the Heat in heartbreaking fashion. In fact, it made me feel good.

Go ahead, call me jealous. I won’t disagree. I am jealous. I wish I could go back in time and do whatever it takes to prevent David Robinson from being injured. I’m going back in time to Monday, December 23rd, 1996 to “Celtic Pride” style kidnap David Robinson. I will prevent him from playing the Miami Heat and breaking his foot, an injury that would spell championship doom for the next 20 years as a Suns fan. The Spurs with a healthy Robinson would have never finished with the odds required to end up with the #1 overall pick… But that’s exactly what happened. Somehow, the Spurs ended up with the #1 pick (Spurs had the best record in their division the previous year), and with it, they selected a tall, gifted, CENTER out of Wake Forest, Tim Duncan.

How big of a deal was getting Tim Duncan? Well, Duncan turned out to be the only player in NBA history with 100.00 Win Shares on both offense and defense. You don’t need to know what a win share is, all you need to know is, of every player to ever play basketball, he’s the only person to do this. “The Big Fundamental” was arguably the best two-way player ever.

Tim Duncan was one of the rare players who had both incredible physical gifts and an elite basketball mind. He is a thinker on the level of Nash, Bird, Russell and Magic, but was gifted height, length, and health only rivaled by Russell himself. Duncan was the rare combination of brains, crybaby, and brains in a 7’0 body.

Here is brief rundown of his accolades:

So yes, Tim Duncan is a first ballot Hall of Famer, probably unanimously. Yes, he’s one of the ten greatest players in NBA history. My buddies, the Knight brothers never fail to remind me just how dominant the Spurs have been in their series against the Suns, and I only have one retort…

“Tim Duncan is the worst!”

You see, to me, Duncan was the kid in class who always seemed older than everyone else. He’s the kid who always outdid you no matter how hard you worked or what the competition was. He was the kid who didn’t pick you last, he picked you first… to be the opposing team captain, acknowledging your worthiness as an opponent. Then, he and his team crushed that brief sense of joyful competition by kicking your butt, while complaining about the rules. That’s who Tim Duncan is to me, and today, he finally graduated, a 19th year senior. It’s a joyous occasion for me as a Suns fan.

Don’t get me wrong, some part of me deep down will miss watching Tim Duncan on the opposing sideline. I can’t remember a more personally fulfilling win than when the Suns swept the Spurs in the 2010 playoffs on an improbable run to the Western Conference Finals. I’d be even more excited that he was retiring, if I knew he was retiring to the Virgin Islands (Both where is from, and a burn because Duncan is a full on, Dungeon and Dragons playing, geek). However, I’m confident I’ll have to deal with his continued presence in the basketball universe whether it’s on TV or the NBA sidelines.

More from Valley of the Suns

Tim Duncan is responsible for many of the worst moments in my life as a Suns fan. I will never forget watching the playoffs in 2007 when Tony Parker deliberately head-butted Nash, making him unable to compete in the final, critical minutes of the fourth quarter, and watching the Spurs steal an eventual championship from the Suns. I’ll never forget the smug look on Duncan’s face as Amar’e was unable to help defend Steve Nash, when Robert Horry hip-checked Nash into the scorers table. A play that ultimately resulted in Stoudemire and Boris Diaw being suspended for game five for stepping onto the court during the ensuing scuffle. I will never forget the game was officiated by an official with official (FBI investigated) ties to the mob, Tim Donaghy. Tim Donaghy was later found to have been gambling on basketball, and was fired and banned from the NBA. I have no definitive proof that Tim Duncan was a part of this gambling ring, but he and the corrupt official both share the initials T.D…. Need I say more?  I still cringe when I think about Duncan hitting his ONLY 3-pointer of the 2008 season to force overtime in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semi-finals.

Throughout my memory as a basketball fan, Tim Duncan whined and whined and whined, and won and won and won.

There are a lot of people writing about how much they are going to miss Tim Duncan, or how great he was. I am not one of them. All I can think about is how I am going to somehow have to watch him cover Suns games or coach against the Suns. I can already see three years from now, Duncan on the sideline in the Western Conference Finals, interviewing Earl Watson during a pivotal moment, or coaching against Phoenix and continuing to dash the dreams of Suns’ fans.

Goodbye, Tim Duncan. I hope forever. Enjoy your games of D&D, long, silent walks along the Riverwalk (almost as boring as Duncan himself), and your amazing, championship-filled retirement.

Goodbye, Tim Duncan, and Good Riddance. I’ll never love… to hate, anyone like I love to hate you.

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