But it will be significant, and it will be logical (or at least I hope.) You can call me a Tim Duncan homer or fanboy all you want, but the fact of the matter is that I’m a huge fan of many Power Forwards of league past (sans Karl Malone, however), so erase the thought of any kind of name calling that has bias in one of the sentences you’d be coerced to jeer me. I guess I don’t blame you. Especially if you have silly reasons to hate Duncan. It’s fine. You’re jealous and that’s OK.
I’ve been [practically] preaching it for the past couple of years. Especially ever since he hit that 3-pointer over Shaq to take a one-point lead versus the Lakers in Game 5 of the the 2004 Western Conference Semi-Finals. Moments later, Derek Fisher hit that fadeaway with 0.4 ticks left. Remember the Duncan shot? It was a fallaway 3 over the top of the Big Daddy Diesel. It’s one of the greatest plays — to me — in the history of the game of basketball.
What about the 2003 NBA Finals, probably the last amazing (save for the 2005 NBA Finals) NBA Finals I’ve watched. Not because of the personal sentiments in it, but for Duncan’s triple double he averaged through the year. Watching the Spurs close out the series in game 6 on Father’s Day on June 15, 2003, high fiving him every time the Big Fundamental chopped away at New Jersey’s third quarter lead. Duncan impressed me greatly.
I could name several more moments, but why should I? Those are moments that matter to me. Not to you. Of course, the average “ignorant” (yes, everyone who thinks with the following mentality — in my opinion — is ignorant of the game of basketball and should never watch it again if they want to understand the truth about themselves) fan believes that Tim Duncan is boring, has no emotion. Yet, they complain, each time he questions a referee’s call, and says he whines. Yep, shows no emotion, never yells, but he’s a whiner. Doesn’t amalgamate together there, does it?
Every fan has a certain hate for some great player in every sport, now in days. The respect and class that’s shown towards a player is long gone. There’s only a few Tim Duncan Haters (TDH’s) that I can spot out and tell you that they respect him and his game. Other than there’s nobody, they just ignore the greatness he brings to the hardwood. Ignoring the glory that he showcases. Ignoring the fact he’s one of the few athletes that don’t consider themselves a celebrity. What about when he leaves, when he retires from the game? Will people look back and realize they took his game for granted, that they — the actual haters — will miss him?
People from this basketball-watching-generation will look back in 15-20 years from now and might not even mention much of Duncan. “Oh, Duncan, you say? He won four titles. Was the catalyst of the Spurs’ dynasty. Not a bad player,” they will say. He wasn’t a bad player. He was an astonishing figure of a player in sports. Many ‘former fans’ of the NBA say they don’t like it because the league lacks defense and every team is too offensively oriented. When I hear someone say that I tell them, “watch the Spurs.” They look away with nothing to say. Figures. They’re not the true fans they act to be if they say one thing and go with another. More nominal than ever.
I’m a big Kevin Garnett fan — ‘loved him during his days in Minnesota, and am still a huge fan in his days as a favorite on my favorite, the Celtics — but it’s easy to distinguish him from Duncan. He’s more memorable than Tim, even though the only playoff success Garnett has had — up until this very moment — has been thanks to Sam Cassell in 2003-2004 when Cassell ran him to the Western Conference Finals (not to slight KG, but Cassell was incredible that year during KG’s MVP campaign), and now Cassell is reunited with Garnett again in Boston. Duncan’s four championships to Garnett’s zero; not to mention the three Finals MVPs to Garnett’s un-attempted Finals MVPs.
Why is Garnett more heralded than the guy that’s more unheralded than any other amazing all time great like Tim Duncan? Because he has emotion flowing throughout him for 48 minutes straight, and he shows it. Though, that doesn’t mean Duncan is quiet. Just because you don’t see him on Sports Center running around and yelling, that doesn’t mean anything. Just because, when you see the Spurs on their nationally televised regular season games or their consistent basis of playoff games every year doesn’t mean Duncan is quiet. He sits on the bench, talking to Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. Warranting them of their errors, helping them correct their woes. He sits tight on the bench with a Spurs towel deftly folded over his knees. He will get up occasionally to yell, “let’s go, guys.” He’s a sideline teacher. When his team is horded up on the sidelines, Duncan talks, they listen.
People’s oblivious ideas about Duncan have reached the pinnacle of oblivious. If you don’t like Tim, OK, I don’t have a problem with it at all. But why, for the love of God, is it that everybody has this huge hyperbole swarming like a tornado that Duncan is the most boring, unemotional robot in the league? He’s on television every Spring because the Spurs are constantly that far in the playoffs every year. People know who he is. They just choose to disregard his thoughts and what he does. They see him as a basketball player. They don’t pay attention enough. They dislike the fact that he doesn’t cause scenes or rages around like many NBA players do. They hate it. Yet they nominally scold guys that do the said scenes/rages.
Like a man once said, “to be the greatest, you have to be hated by at least someone, and those someones hate because they know deep down that you are the greatest; that’s when you know you’re something more than good.”
Tim Duncan’s something more than great, whether you want to be admit it or not.