Antonio Daniels would be ‘very surprised’ if Tim Duncan retired
After the San Antonio Spurs won their fifth NBA championship since 1999 last season, many wondered if Tim Duncan would retire on top. Instead, Duncan returned for an 18th NBA season and looked like he discovered the Fountain of Youth along the way.
While the Spurs failed to advance past the opening round of the playoffs, Duncan averaged 17.9 points and 11.1 rebounds in San Antonio’s series against the Clippers. His 28-point, 11-rebound performance in Game 6 almost singlehandedly forced Game 7.
After a performance like that, former Spurs guard Antonio Daniels can’t see Duncan calling it a career.
“I would be very surprised if he retired,” Daniels, who remains friends with Duncan, told Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. “As long as he’s staying at a level where he feels like he’s relevant and competing, I can’t see it.”
Duncan, who turned 39 a few weeks ago, averaged 13.9 points and 9.1 rebounds per game during the regular season. He was also selected to his 15th NBA All-Star team, so it’s not as if Duncan simply turned it on for one final push in the postseason.
The guy can still play, and the Spurs can continue to compete for championships as long as they have Gregg Popovich running the show. Duncan will be a free agent this summer, but the Spurs would be more than happy to give him something like the $10 million contract he played under last season.
And when Duncan does decide to call it a career, Daniels insists there will be no retirement tour.
“He’s not going to be like Kareem and go out on a big retirement tour,” he said. “He’s going to wake up one morning and say, ‘You know what? I don’t have it anymore. I’m done.’”
Let’s hope that morning doesn’t come in the near future. The NBA needs at least another season of Timmy and his awesome girlfriend.