“TIM DUNCAN, THANK YOU” – CARIBBEAN
ON BEHALF OF THE CARIBBEAN I SAY THANK YOU TIM DUNCAN
Yes; the Caribbean community both at home and abroad needs to be appreciative of the fact that we have an ambassador who was so excellent and so successful at the highest level, yet he showed a character of great humility. Tim Duncan born in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands in the Caribbean. Duncan went on to be one of the most successful college basketball players and was taken number one over all in the NBA (National Basketball Association) draft by the San Antonio Spurs where he would lead his team for 19 years with the best winning record of any NBA team or any professional team in the USA over the corresponding period in USA sporting history. The team would win 5 NBA titles during that time and Duncan would be seen as the greatest power forward of all time. More than that his behaviour on and off the court was above reproach and he was named as the best teammate by NBA players year in year out. His presence was characterized by almost emotionless appearing looks and almost no speaking or sounds coming from him, yet he would destroy the best in the NBA every season.
Duncan used to be a swimmer during high school with dreams of having an Olympic career, those dreams turned into a nightmare when hurricane Hugo destroyed the only Olympic size pool on the entire 3 island country. He had a growth spurt and one of his friends suggested that he try basketball instead. This began the legendary basketball talent that would help to transform the game.
Duncan, close to 7 foot got the nickname “Big Fundamental” because he played the game flawlessly and helped to revolutionize the position of power forward. At this point I have to be honest, as a Jamaican, I along with my fellow countrymen were not pleased with him when he and the Spurs won the first championship. The reason for that is that the Spurs opponent was the New York Knicks who was led by the first ever Jamaican star in the NBA, Patrick Ewing. Ewing was essentially at the close of his career and this was his last chance for him to win the championship, well Duncan and the Spurs ended that dream.
Many of us ‘Yardies’ got over that though, as Duncan started to show his legendary form by winning MVPs, Defender of the year and other awards. Duncan also played with something that you did not see ever in the NBA, whether from a star or otherwise, that was humility.
Duncan’s humility became legendary, even commercials used his humility as the basis of their ad treatment. This was shown in a stark example when Los Angeles Laker Legend would retire at the end of the same season as Duncan (the two stars had careers that spanned similar periods and became rivals), however Bryant had a season long good bye tour everywhere he played after announcing his retirement close to the beginning of the season, whereas Duncan sent a press release after the season was over, so there was not opportunity for pomp and circumstance, just a quiet media note. Although in order to be successful Duncan had to have a degree of arrogance inside, humility was his hallmark. For persons who loved to see the game played right and respectfully , Duncan became our hero.
I do remember trying to share this love to my friend Marissa who was an occasional fan of the game and the following was fully demonstrated what people called boring, I called magic, what people called lacking energy,
I called beautiful execution, what people called an eye sore, I called perfection. This led to some of the most historic basketball battles. Marissa much preferred the more unpredictable and expressive Duncan teammate Manu Ginobli.
Behind the scenes you would hear testimony from coaches, teammates and opponents alike as to how unique a person he was. Duncan contributed to charities in the US Virgin Islands and in San Antonio, constantly. Duncan created the Tim Duncan Foundation to raise general health awareness and fund education and youth sports in various parts of the United States. He would never ask for the limelight but either sharing it or giving it to others.
As we say goodbye to the greatest power forward the NBA has ever seen, the greatest player from the Caribbean made all Caribbean and Caribbean descent persons proud. Duncan’s character was of the highest level and his game equally on the highest. Thank you TIM DUNCAN.
Tim Duncan retired at age 40
Duncan is the only player in NBA history to win five NBA championships in 19 seasons. He was named MVP in 2001-02 and 2002-03 and was the Finals MVP in 1999, 2003 and 2005.
Many tweeted “Thank you TD” to the star player including the Charlotte Hornets who tweeted: “Congratulations on an incredible career, Tim Duncan!”
The 6-11 Duncan finished his career with:
- 26,496 points, 14th on the league’s all-time scoring list.
- 15,091 rebounds, sixth on the all-time list.
- 3,064 blocks, fifth on the all-time list.
- 1,392 games, seventh on the all-time list.
- 15 time all star
- 15 Time all nba selecetion
- 15 time all nba defensive selection
- 9000 Playoff Minutes
- Used the name ‘teacher’
- Greatest power forward of all time
- Most accomplished player in that season
- Led the league in Defensive rating 4 time one season it was 89. He did it one year when he was 36
- He retired the way he played the game
Career highlights and awards
- 5× NBA champion (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014)
- 3× NBA Finals MVP (1999, 2003, 2005)
- 2× NBA Most Valuable Player (2002, 2003)
- 15× NBA All-Star (1998, 2000–2011, 2013, 2015)
- NBA All-Star Game MVP (2000)
- 10× All-NBA First Team (1998–2005, 2007, 2013)
- 3× All-NBA Second Team (2006, 2008, 2009)
- 2× All-NBA Third Team (2010, 2015)
- 8× NBA All-Defensive First Team (1999–2003, 2005, 2007, 2008)
- 7× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (1998, 2004, 2006, 2009–2010, 2013, 2015)
- NBA Rookie of the Year (1998)
- NBA Shooting Stars champion (2008)
- Twyman–Stokes Teammate of the Year Award (2015)
- San Antonio Spurs all-time leading scorer
- USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year (2003)
- Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year (2003)
- National college player of the year (1997)
- 2× Consensus first-team All-American (1996, 1997)
- 3× NABC Defensive Player of the Year (1995–1997)
- 2× ACC Player of the Year (1996, 1997)
- No. 21 retired by Wake Forest
- Points 26,496 (19.0 ppg)
- Rebounds 15,091 (10.8 rpg)
- Blocks 3,020 (2.2 bpg)
- Men’s basketball Representing United States
- Bronze medal – third place 2004 Athens Team competition
- FIBA Americas Championship
- Gold medal – first place 1999 San Juan Team competition
- Gold medal – first place 2003 San Juan Team competition
- Goodwill Games
- Bronze medal – third place 1994 St. Petersburg Team competition
- Summer Universiade
- Gold medal – first place 1995 Fukuoka Team competition
Jason Walker21 Posts
Patriot, Jamaican, Caribbean, Pan African, Humanist, Radio Personality, DJ. I have worked over 20 years as a Journalist for Caribbean Today Magazine, WRFG Radio 89.3 FM, Cross Over Media and several media outlets in the Caribbean and the US.