Tim Duncan sat on the bench for almost the entire fourth quarter as the San Antonio Spurs won their 27th game against the Dirk Nowitzki-less Dallas Mavericks. He was applauding and encouraging his teammates as the Spurs built, close to a ten point lead with rookie Gary Neal and Manu Ginobili hitting big baskets on crucial time. It seems to be Tim’s role now, the team leader who shares the part of a cheerleader.
The transition wasn’t difficult to do. He had been down that road before when he was nurtured and guided by David Robinson in his rookie years. The unselfish act came out naturally as he sidestepped the limelight, helping his team to their best start in franchise history and now the best record in the NBA.
He sacrifices his scoring touches in exchange for setting picks and encouraging words for his teammates.
At age 34, Tim Duncan and the Spurs are one of the oldest teams in the NBA with six players at 30 years old and up. But their chemistry and team effort came out to be their best strengths on their run to 27-4.
It was just a conscious effort for Tim to give more touches to the young bloods with Gary Neal, George Hill and Dejuan Blair delivering a new hope, a new promise and maybe a championship ring before Tim retires. He doesn’t have to carry the load anymore when he has the whole team on his back.
There is no “forever” in the NBA. Superstars are just like any other stars; shinning so bright until their lights eventually fade out. Tim doesn’t want to end up on a road where he fades out and has done nothing. He had a great mentor, an unselfish superstar that carried his team for a long time and took a step backward in order for Duncan to shine. Tim knows his prime is now a thing of the past and when the time comes, he hopes he leaves a legacy not only to his fans and his team but also to his teammates. It always pays to be unselfish…
2010 came out to be one of Duncan’s lowest career outputs, but it also came out to be one of his best starts. Looking forward to a bigger year in 2011 and a big promise to the man called the Big Fundamental.
Happy New Year Everyone!
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