There are a lot of things that aren’t Tim Duncan’s “deal,” and plenty of things that aren’t his “style.”
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Phones without cords. Swords without homes. Au courant denim styles and four-cylinder engines. Knowing more than one head coach in his professional lifetime, loud noises, and apparently (as he works through his 19th season) retirement.
Should Tim Duncan ever decide to retire from the NBA, which is no sure thing, we can be sure there is another league hallmark that he may decide to give a miss. In the media back-and-forth that led up to his team’s first-round pairing with the Memphis Grizzlies, Duncan told Jeff MacDonald of the San Antonio Express News (via The Score) that he wants absolutely nothing to do with a farewell tour:
"Not my deal," Duncan told Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. "Not my style."
That’s the extent of the quote, brevity that is very Tim Duncan-like. If there’s more, we’re unaware as the rest of the article is behind a pay wall, because TIM DUNCAN EXPECTS YOU TO PAY FOR NEWSPAPERS.
(Although, seriously, we should all be paying for newspapers.)
This can hardly be construed as a direct shot at Kobe Bryant, who just wrapped up his own farewell tour. Bryant announced in late November what many assumed heading into 2015-16, that his 20th season would be his last. With the lottery-bound Lakers by then working with a 2-14 record, the idea that Bryant’s final game would take place at home against Utah on April 13 became a virtual certainty.
The league’s gaggle of road arenas responded as expected, treating Bryant to a long goodbye in each of his final road appearances. To Bryant’s credit, following a career that was hardly replete with tact, he didn’t make too big a show of things.
The same goes for Michael Jordan, Bryant’s predecessor in this realm, and Reggie Miller. Players like Ray Allen, Shaquille O’Neal, Karl Malone and John Stockton never announced retirement plans midseason, so they weren’t treated to the deserved fete. Steve Nash and Allen Iverson saw their final turns clipped short due to injury or clashes with the front office. Famously, Julius Erving and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s final spin around the league just about invented the NBA’s idea of a farewell tour, but both looked suitably embarrassed at several of the stops along the way.
Tim Duncan, to our knowledge, has ever been suitably embarrassed about anything in his entire life; with the key word there being “suitably.” No amount of badass katana blades or free chrome tailpipe extensions, gifted from the Bucks and Nuggets, might be worth the uneasiness of having to trudge toward halfcourt before a game to be reminded that, come July, you’re not doing this anymore.
Especially when you can afford to buy your own rocking chairs, in a style you see fit. Such a deal.
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