Tim Duncan is the best power forward that the NBA has ever seen (if you consider him a power forward). Spending the entirety of his now 16 and a half years in the league with the San Antonio Spurs, Duncan is a four-time NBA Champion and the picture of consistency and productivity as a big man in this league.
Now 37 years old, Duncan has to have his minutes and rest monitored, but his production has still been huge for the Spurs and a big part of their continued success. In 50 games this year, Duncan is averaging 15.6 points, 10.1 rebounds, three assists and two blocks in only 29.7 minutes per game while still shooting a reliable 49.3 percent from the floor.
The question that remains with Duncan, though, is what lies ahead. How much longer will the veteran be able to play at a high level before he hits the wall and can’t produce in the ways that have made him a future Hall-of-Famer. According to George Karl, the near future may hold retirement for Duncan.
In a recent ESPN segment discussing Duncan, Karl stated that he heard rumors around All-Star Weekend in New Orleans that Duncan could hang it up after this season and docilely make his way out of the league. Neither the Spurs nor Duncan have said anything on the matter, but Karl seems to believe that there’s a good chance that this is Duncan’s last year in the NBA.
There would be something fitting about Duncan retiring after this season. It would feel wrong to see Duncan on the floor not able to do the things that we’ve become so accustomed to seeing him regularly pull off, which is a point that we’re inching closer to if he were to keep playing. There’s something to be said about a guy going out before that happens and Duncan has the persona of a guy who would do just that.
Injuries have stifled the Spurs’ success as of late, but they can still make a push in the postseason once they start getting their core pieces back in the lineup. Whether they have enough in the tank to make it back to the NBA Finals remains to be seen, but whenever their season does end, keep an eye on Duncan and his plans for the future.