San Antonio Spurs legend Tim Duncan, arguably the greatest power forward ever to play professional basketball, has retired.
Spanish star Pau Gasol, who during his career has played power forward and center, has reportedly agreed to join San Antonio on a two-year deal worth $30 million, after spending the last two seasons with the Chicago Bulls - and it now looks like he will help fill the void left by Duncan. He won a total of 5 NBA Championships with 3 NBA Finals MVP awards and 2 NBA MVP awards. The Golden State Warriors are the favorites with -150 odds to win the title, while the Cleveland Cavaliers have +350 odds to prevail.
"For two decades Tim represented the Spurs, the city of San Antonio and the league with passion and class", Silver said. It's hard to say how that will be felt with his retirement.
Duncan is one of three players to win at least 1,000 games during his career, and he ranks 14th on the NBA's all-time scoring list.
"Even tho I knew it was coming, I'm still moved by the news".
The last time Duncan spoke to reporters was on May 12, when the Spurs had just been eliminated by the Thunder in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals.
Bryant proved a basketball player could not only be one of the brightest stars in Hollywood, but also Europe, Asia, or anywhere else his games were seen around the globe. He announced early in the season that it would be his last, allowing him a long and lengthy goodbye.
But Duncan was also a dominant defensive player who was still making plays in his final season. He was too much for the Pistons defense time after time, and his threat in the post made it impossible for the Pistons to key on the Spurs shooters and prevent them from getting open for three-pointers.
And when it came to winning, Duncan was truly elite.
Prior to the NBA, Duncan enjoyed a successful career at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.
Here's how long he was with the Spurs: He had 140 different teammates there.
Duncan got to the top first in 1999, Bryant's Lakers won the next three titles before the Spurs ended their run, and the pattern stayed that way for years.
He was a 38-year-old All-Star in 2014-15 and even as his minutes were reduced to save the wear and tear on his body for the playoffs, he remained a force on the defensive end and on the glass.