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If you thought the famously quiet Tim Duncan would go silently into the night in NBA retirement, you thought wrong, my friend, because the five-time champion is turning himself into a killing machine.
The retired San Antonio Spurs superstar is already quite skilled in the art of paintball, having “unleashed a hail of water-soluble hellfire upon” Danny Ferry and leaving Stephen Jackson bloodied, and now Duncan is adding mixed martial artistry to a résumé that includes 15 All-Defensive honors.
San Antonio-based kickboxing trainer Jason Echols posted a sparring video of the 41-year-old two-time NBA MVP with the caption, “What happens when your training partner is 7-foot tall?” Well, what happened was Tim Duncan sporting a Punisher T-shirt and throwing seriously long kicks and punches his way with all the technique and fluidity that earned him the nickname The Big Fundamental.
Tim Duncan trained at half-speed, of course, because Tim Duncan practicing MMA in a Punisher T-shirt at full-speed leaves no survivors. Tim Duncan may be silent, but he’s deadly. He’s silent bud deadly.
Duncan’s MMA training with Echols dates back more than eight years and four All-Star appearances, and he has long credited his ability to play 19 seasons to his proficiency in Muay Thai and kickboxing.
“Training with Jason for the last eight-plus years has transformed the way I prepared in the offseasons,” a statement from Duncan on Echols’ website reads. “Now that it is all offseason I use my work with him to stay physically and mentally strong, while learning a challenging skill.”
Throw in what else we’ve learned of Duncan in his retirement — his love of “fast f***in’ cars,” a “World of Warcraft” addiction and a passion for action movies starring Nicolas Cage — and that skill set becomes one that prepares Timmy for a post-playing life roaming the old West and fighting his way out of trouble in every town, not unlike “Kung Fu” star David Carradine (except for the ending, and I urge you not to go looking for David Carradine’s demise, because he died as he lived — dangerously).
“Like every other car guy, I’ve watched ‘The Fast and the Furious’ and I want to go out and race and drift, and all the crazy stuff,” Duncan told Jared Zwerling for Bleacher Report in September 2015. “Another one of my favorites is ‘Cobra.’ That’s where I got my love for the Merc, where he had the one that had the license plate that said ‘AWSOM 50.'”
He’s got sniping skills from paintball, hand-to-hand combat skills from MMA training and high-speed car chase skills from his BlackJack Speed Shop. And I’m pretty sure Tim Duncan once threw a grenade and killed 50 people, then it exploded. Or was that Chuck Norris? They’re basically the same guy now.
All Duncan needs now are the knife skills. So, if you see him enroll in culinary classes, consider it confirmation Gregg Popovich is sending him on an undercover spy mission to solve this Russia crisis.
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