Considered as the greatest power forward who has ever stepped foot in the National Basketball Association, Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs announced on Monday his retirement after playing in the league for 19 seasons. To pay tribute to the great athlete, let us take a quick look at his very successful career.
Timmy entered the league in the year 1997 as the No. 1 overall pick by the San Antonio Spurs. He joined the then star of the team, center David Robinson, and they immediately formed a formidable front court tandem. However, the duo, who was then called as the ?Twin Towers,? was not able to bring home a championship that year.
During his rookie season, Duncan had an average of 21.1 points per game alongside 11.9 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per outing. The power forward waited two more years upon entering the league before he got a taste of the championship after the Spurs defeated the New York Knicks, 4-1. He was named the 1999 Finals MVP after scoring 31 points and grabbing 9 boards in Game 5 to close out the series.
Three years after, Duncan won his very first Season MVP award, where he averaged 25.5 points, 12.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.5 blocks per game. A year after that, he again won the award for the second consecutive year. It was also in 2003 when Duncan had his second ring and second Finals MVP award after San Antonio edged the New Jersey Nets.
What makes Tim Duncan?s retirement even more interesting is the fact that he won five NBA championships and was named the Finals MVP three times. He has also been voted to participate in the All-Star games for 15 times. Now, with all these flashbacks of Duncan?s career, it is evident that his performance has already weaken. In his 2015-2016 season, which appears to be his last, he only averaged 8.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game.
With Duncan leaving the professional league for good, it is time to think who will fill the void he is about to create on the roster of the San Antonio Spurs. Of courses, there is Lamarcus Aldridge, who they signed back in 2015. The power forward seemed to be the best player to take on the spot after performing huge in his first year with the organization, where he averaged 18 marks per outing alongside 8.5 boards.
However, another name that comes up to mind who could fill the shoes of Duncan is the newly-signed power forward Pau Gasol. Just like Aldridge, the Spaniard big man?s moves are also akin to Duncan?s. He has the size and the length that could help him dominate inside the paint. Plus, he also has the shooting touch on the perimeter that would make him even harder to guard.
During his last season, he averaged a double-double with the Chicago Bulls, scoring 18.2 per game and grabbing 11.0 rebounds every outing. However, it is a fact that no one could ever replace Duncan, and with him leaving the NBA, the league will never be the same again. Hopefully, Aldridge and Gasol would somehow be able to fill Timmy?s shoes.
How about you? With Tim Duncan retiring, do you think it is possible for Gasol or Aldridge to take on the spot? Share your thoughts as well as your farewell message for Duncan in the comment section below.