San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan announces retirement

Duncan is the Spurs' all-time leader in points, rebounds, blocked shots, minutes, games played and he helped the team to a franchise-best 67 wins this past season.

Duncan, whose longevity was virtually unmatched, was a force on both ends of the court while racking up numerous individual awards that will ensure he is inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.

The 40-year-old Duncan, who was selected as the first overall pick in the 1997 National Basketball Association draft, spent his entire career with the Spurs - an anomaly in a league where players often change teams.

The Spurs had the NBA's second-best record in the 2015-16 season but lost in the Western Conference semi-final, after which Duncan said he was contemplating his playing future. During the seasons of year 1999, 2003 and 2005, he also received the MVP in the finals. He took far below market value to give the Spurs the means to fortify the team around him, so much so that his salary had he continued playing would have appeared puny at a time when dollars are flying around to players - and not even All-Star ones - like never before. Bryant scored far more but also lost more, unable to match Duncan's fantastic consistency during 19 straight playoff seasons and an NBA-record 17 consecutive 50-win seasons.

Most of the players he played against admire him for being humble and simple.

"For two decades Tim represented the Spurs, the city of San Antonio and the league with passion and class", NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry admired Duncan for the way he carried himself.

Bryant, who played 20 seasons with the Lakers before also retiring at the end of this past season, is the only player to have played longer with one team. Thanks 4 everything you did for the game! A victor, and you Did it your way.

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