San Antonio Spurs Retire Tim Duncan’s Number
It was an emotional night celebrating the game’s all time greatest power forward. On Sunday evening, the San Antonio Spurs organization formally retired Tim Duncan’s number ’21’, sending it up to the rafters where it will remain for eternity alongside Spurs legends such as George Gervin and David Robinson.
“This is the most important comment that I can make about Tim Duncan,” Said Head Coach Gregg Popovich on Duncan during the ceremony. “I can honestly say to Mr. and Mrs. Duncan, who have passed, that that man right there is exactly the same person now as he was when he walked in the door.”
Holding back tears, Popovich who coached Duncan from his rookie year in 1997 all the way up until his final year in 2016. Together, the two have won five NBA titles, with Duncan winning two league Most Valuable Player awards along the way.
“Thank you, Coach Pop for being more than a coach,” Said Duncan in his typical low key tone. “For being more like a father to me. Thank you.”
In a speech that took just over four minutes, Duncan took his time in firstly thanking the city of San Antonio and the fans that have easily accepted the champion that he was right from the get go. He then went on to thanking his Wake Forest coach, Dave Odom, his children and family members, former teammates and lastly Gregg Popovich and long-time Spurs general manager, R.C. Buford.
Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili in particular got to speak about their long-tenured teammate. The three Spurs players combined to win 126-playoff games together, the most in NBA history by a trio. The three who have shared four NBA championships hold the record for most regular season wins by a trio as well at 575.
“So since I have the opportunity now,” said Manu when he got his chance to talk about Duncan. “Thank you, Timmy. Thank you very much for all these years. Thank you for the four rings I have in my home because of you. Thank you for making me better, and everybody that ever played with you.”
Together, the three have created a lasting dynasty in San Antonio, one spearheaded by the great Tim Duncan. As his number went up to the rafters, Duncan bowed out in the most Tim Duncan fashion possible.
“I’m going to tell you this: I won a lot of bets tonight,” Duncan joked. “I didn’t wear jeans. I wore a sport coat, and I spoke for more than 30 seconds. Thank you, San Antonio. Thank you.”
Duncan was a guy who did it the right way!