Tim Duncan has retired, and it's difficult to sum up how spectacular the quiet giant's NBA career was. He won five championships and two MVP's. He is the only player to win 1,000 games with the same franchise. His San Antonio Spurs made the playoffs in all 19 seasons he played. He retires as the greatest power forward to ever play the game, a champion of consistency in a game that's always changing.
Nothing we say can capture how brilliant Duncan was, so we might as well just show you. With no further ado, here are the greatest moments of Tim Duncan's NBA career.
Tim Duncan discovers he has arms
In overtime of Game 3 of the 2013 Western Conference Finals, Duncan discovered that his body had two upper appendages in addition to his two legs:
The way he examines them in the video is a testament to his greatness. Some players would have discovered their arms and said "Okay, great. I have arms." Duncan instinctively inspects every inch and aspect of his newfound limbs.
News of Duncan's discovery quickly changed the NBA. With all players now fully aware of their arms, their ability to play basketball was greatly enhanced. While Duncan's titles and trophies tell some of the story of his greatness, its his innovations like this one that truly make him an all-timer.
Tim Duncan tastes bad Gatorade
During a 2007 game, Tim Duncan tasted his typical Gatorade, but it tasted different from his regular Gatorade:
Duncan drinks the Gatorade, then realizes it tastes bad, then closely examines the bottle and cap before skeptically drinking from the Gatorade again. It is upon this second Gatorade quaff that he realizes it is doomed, and explains his plight to a team assistant.
It's this persistence and thoroughness that explains Duncan's brilliant career. No, Duncan didn't win every game in his career. But even when he lost, he was never beaten. He simply retreated into his Tim Duncan hut, learned how and why he could be better, and came out improved and ready to once again be the best. Like with the Gatorade, he never let a bad taste in his mouth be the victor.