First, pictures popped up last week showing San Antonio Spurs big man Tim Duncan smiling in a Chevy Corvette Z06 at Exotics Racing, a performance driving school in Las Vegas that gives average Joes (and, it seems, four-time NBA champions) the chance to drive Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Aston Martins, Porsches and a host of other top-shelf vehicles on their private race track. Then, via Project Spurs, came this video that allegedly showed Duncan driving a Nissan GT-R during a drag race at San Antonio Speedway at speeds upward of 120 miles per hour:
... but given the fact that the video was shot from alongside the racetrack, it was impossible to confirm that it was, in fact, "The Big Fundamental" behind the wheel.
This video, though — posted by San Antonio's BlackJack Speed Shop, shared by r/nba user Redbutter and criminally unavailable for embed here because of the dubstep song used as its soundtrack — eliminates any doubt: Tim Duncan, clearly visible in the driver's seat with a helmet on and saying he's got to "get [his] reaction time up" before pulling off, likes to go fast.
It's not news that, like a lot of well-off pro athletes, Duncan digs cars — a few years back, he had the folks at Hennessey Performance drop a supercharged Hemi into his 2008 Dodge Challenger, amping it up to a 600-horsepower beast. Nor is it news that, like fellow long-in-the-tooth player (and NBA rookie) Pablo Prigioni, he likes to collect them — Duncan has said in the past that he loves 1950s and '60s American muscle.
But it does seem a bit concerning that he's driving high-performance cars super-fast, because even in a controlled setting, there's only so much control a non-professional driver can exert over something going 120-plus miles per hour. And, from the Spurs' perspective, because Duncan's less than two months into a new three-year, $30 million contract that will pay him to continue being San Antonio's low-post centerpiece through his 39th birthday. Maybe that contract has a "for love of the road" clause in it, but that seems unlikely ... and while, as MySanAntonio.com's Dan McCarney notes, it's not like Gregg Popovich is going to cut the two-time NBA Most Valuable Player, you have to imagine that the Spurs front office (and fans) wouldn't be thrilled at seeing the face of their franchise getting his Vin Diesel on.
A modest proposal, Tim: Radio-controlled car racing. It's much more in line with your famed D&D/Merlin-loving hobbyist instincts, it'll eliminate the possibility of a wreck-induced injury, and it'll give you a chance to chill with Brad Miller. Everyone wins!
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