You would think by watching the San Antonio Spurs crumble under the pressure of a 3-2 lead in the 2013 NBA Finals that their version of the big three was nearing its end. Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan have all been together as a trio for 11 seasons and they have succeeded in every aspect of the game.
With three NBA titles and one more Finals appearance in 2013, the aging veterans look to be winding down in their respective careers — besides Parker, who is just 31-years old.
The question has been raised by many prior to this game, but with a heartbreaking loss to the Miami Heat, should Duncan consider hanging up the sneakers?
In my opinion, the 16-year veteran has plenty of life left in his talented body. Widely regarded as the best power forward of all-time as evidenced by his career 20.2 points and 11.2 rebound average, Duncan has what it takes to play while approaching the age of 40.
At a youthful 37, Duncan already has four NBA titles, two MVPs, three Finals MVPs and 14 All-Star Game appearances, making for one of the most impressive track records of any player in the league. These numbers could have gotten even better with a 2013 NBA title, but that just wasn’t in the cards.
Judging by a crucial missed layup late in the fourth quarter that would have tied the game with under a minute left, it was safe to say Duncan was lifeless and frustrated. The usually-calm superstar slammed his hand on the floor in anger before arriving to the bench as if he’d lost his team the series single-handedly. However, that was not the case as the team fell apart in Game 6 and then again in Game 7.
I could tell by the way he reacted to the miss that he was not going to end his career on that note. While he has nothing to prove to anyone, he still has something to prove to himself — that he still has top-tier talent, enough to win a title.
Folks, Tim Duncan will be back in 2013-14 along with Gregg Popovich as the Spurs will be as hard to beat as ever.