Farewell, #21

We all knew this day would eventually come, and for many of us Spurs fans we often hoped that day would come later rather than sooner. Heck, maybe you were in denial that this day would ever come, as absurd as you know how that sounds. But, here we are. The day has arrived. Tim Duncan ― aka The Big Fundamental/Timmy D/Slam Duncan/Old Man Riverwalk ― is retiring according to a press release announced on Monday. 

We now live in a post-Tim Duncan NBA world. Let that sink in for a moment. Go ahead: cry, hug a friend, eat everything in sight ― today’s diet be damned! ― or whatever else gives you some solace. Let it out. 

 Via   Instagram

All better? Good. Now that you’ve got that out of your system (hey, it had to be done before you could finally move on), don’t forget to take some time to celebrate and reflect on all the wonderful accomplishments the Big Fundamental achieved in his career with the Spurs. On Monday, that’s just what everyone did. 

The Internet went into a frenzy shortly after the announcement broke Monday morning, and it wasn’t long before Tim Duncan, arguably the greatest power forward to ever play the game, was trending on social media. Here’s what Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, Lamarcus Aldridge, and other NBA players had to say via Twitter.

You can see just how much Duncan meant in the basketball and sports worlds. In San Antonio, we already know how selfless, humble, and driven #21 could be, both on and off the court. It’s no surprise hearing these things. Duncan was a leader. A team player. A guy who didn’t like to brag or call attention to himself or contend to be in the spotlight. He was a guy who wholeheartedly loved the fundamentals of the game. Tim Duncan was as good as they come, and he will truly be missed.

Most avid Spurs and Duncan fans know the obvious about Timmy: He won 5 NBA championships and was a 3-time NBA Finals MVP, a 2-time NBA MVP, and an NBA All-Star MVP (and the list could go on). But there are many more interesting and notable facts about Duncan that are worthy of mentioning, too. For instance, you probably already know that Duncan played with the San Antonio Spurs for 19 glorious seasons (tied with John Stockton of the Utah Jazz for second-most consecutive seasons a player has been with one team, topped only by Kobe Bryant, who played 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers), but did you know that Tim once co-authored a chapter of an academic book about, of all things, egotism and narcissists? I know. Who would’ve thought? But it’s completely true. 

In honor of Tim’s legacy (and his jersey number, 21), I leave you with 21 facts about Tim Duncan. 

Farewell, #21! Thank you for the memories. Oh, and please don't stop doing those hilarious H-E-B commercials. We'll still need to get our Timmy fix somehow! 

21 Facts About Tim Duncan

  1. He was born on St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  2. He shares the same birthday with our own Nydia Huizar on April 25 (though born on different years).
  3. He was a competitive swimmer before he ever considered playing professional basketball.
  4. He earned a degree in psychology from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
  5. He and the Spurs have won at least 50 regular season games, the most consecutive 50+ regular season wins in NBA history.
  6. His favorite book is Jurassic Park.
  7. He is one of only three players in NBA history to attain more than 1,000 career wins on a single team.
  8. He is one of only two players to win titles in three different decades.
  9. He, along with Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, set an NBA record for most playoff wins by one trio.
  10. He is one of only five players ever to win three NBA Finals MVPs.
  11. He made 15 All-NBA teams and 15 All-NBA Defensive teams.
  12. His jersey number, #21, honors Ricky Lowry, his brother-in-law who helped teach him basketball.
  13. He co-authored a book with his college professor entitled “Blowhards, snobs, and narcissists: Interpersonal reactions to excessive egotism.”
  14. He loves paintball.
  15. He was known for wearing his practice shorts backwards.
  16. He admits to being afraid of sharks and heights.
  17. His favorite movie is The Crow.
  18. He has a block of 40 tickets to each Spurs home game, which he donates to various San Antonio charities.
  19. He founded the Tim Duncan Foundation in 2001, which funds nonprofit organizations in the areas of education, youth sports and recreation, and health awareness and research.
  20. His favorite TV shows are Martin and Seinfeld.
  21. He has raised over $550,000 for breast and prostate cancer detection, prevention, and treatment.