He never cared about the money or the spotlight, he just simply loved the game. I’ve never seen a player that respectful and he hasn’t changed one bit over his career.
During his 19 seasons, Duncan averaged 19.0 points, 10.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game.
He has been a pleasure to watch over the years. He was quietly dominant and really could kill you with ease in the paint.
5 time NBA champion and the number 1 reason why that Spurs franchise have been so consistent over the years.
The greatest power forward of all-time conducted a rather entertaining interview with Dan Patrick after Duncan's rookie season in 1998, which revealed how the Big Fundamental (who preferred to be called Merlin) found Michael Jordan to be both unlikable and unimpressive, and Stephon Marbury to be "the bomb." It's good stuff. Here are the highlights of the Q&A lifted from Patrick's book published in 2000 called "Outtakes":
Dan Patrick: What's your nickname?
Tim Duncan: The only nickname I've ever had is Merlin, like the magician. I don't know why.
Patrick: You don't know why you're called Merlin?
Duncan: I kinda know. I was a big Magic Johnson fan. And I guess people who knew that gave a name that. …
Duncan: In that vein. I tried to play like him.
Patrick: What opponent taught you the most last year?
Duncan: Karl Malone used a lot of veteran stuff that I thought was cool. Charles Barkley taught me a lot when I played against him. How he would use his body or use his dribble to get people in there and all that stuff. Veteran moves.
Patrick: Did you ever feel helpless at all last year?
Duncan: The first time I played against Seattle was the only time I felt destroyed. Vin Baker just manhandled me. The whole thing, their double teams, their movement, everything. I must've had eight turnovers. Which isn't a big deal for me because I turn the ball over a lot.
Patrick: How did you start your knife collection?
Duncan: I have always liked knives. Then somebody gave me one. Then somebody gave me another one. Then I liked having them and started buying them. I started finding ones I liked, ones with funky blades.
Patrick: Free association, favorite show?
Patrick: Favorite singers?
Duncan: Don't have one. I like R&B. I listen to music, not singers.
Patrick: Favorite celebrity.
Duncan: You all (at ESPN). After David Robinson, it's you all.
Patrick: That's it. You met Jordan?
Duncan: But Jordan's Jordan. I've always respected him but I've never been a fan of his.
Patrick: Why aren't you a fan of Jordan's?
'Duncan: Because everybody else is.
Patrick: Oh, so you don't like Michael Jordan because everybody else does.
Duncan: No, I don't like Michael Jordan because I don't like Michael Jordan. You got me wrong there. I respect Michael Jordan.
Patrick: You respect him. You just don't like him?
Duncan: I'm just somebody that isn't that impressed by him. There really isn't anybody in the world I'm impressed with.
Patrick: Give me three young guys you love watching play?
Duncan: Abdur-Rahim and Stephon Marbury.
Patrick: I love Stephon Marbury.
Duncan: Stephon Marbury is the bomb. He is going to be so good. And let's see. I think Kevin Garnett is going to be really good at some point. But I think the whole. …KG and Kobe are going to be the guys.
Patrick: Do you have to win a title to validate how good you are?
Duncan: Me, I would feel incomplete without it.