Just as he managed to avoid the limelight, positive or negative, over the course of a 19-year NBA career, San Antonio Spur all-time great Tim Duncan quietly announced that he had played his last professional basketball game.
There are reams of career statistics compiled by Duncan that are nothing short of remarkable, but one that truly amazes any sports fan is the fact that he spent his entire NBA career with one team, playing for one coach.
Not once in those 19 years did you hear the name of Tim Duncan mentioned in conjunction with some shenanigans on or off the court; no family problems, no performance enhancing drug scandals, no fines for on-court hooliganism, no contract squabbles and no self-inflicted gunshot wounds following a night of drunken reverie.
Watching Duncan play last season, both during the grind of the 82-game regular season followed by the grind of pressurised playoff series; it was obvious that he still had the ability to play on.
Duncan does not need or desire the farewell tour season, the dramatic press conference or peer accolades. He is riding off into the sunset with a simple tip of the cap and a self-deprecating, “Aw shucks, ma’am! Tweren’t nothin’.”