Battier And Duncan Deserve All The Praise They Get

SAN ANTONIO, TX - JUNE 16: Tim Duncan #21 of the San Antonio Spurs passes the ball against Shane Battier #31 of the Miami Heat in the second quarter during Game Five of the 2013 NBA Finals at the AT&T Center on June 16, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas. - Mike Ehrmann

Here are two great pieces, one on the retiring Shane Battier and one on the still-enduring Tim Duncan, who has redefined his position.

Miami's last loss to San Antonio of course meant the end of Shane Battier's fascinating career.

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He's always been a unique player and it's good to see things like this appreciation. He's a unique player who created a niche that will be difficult to replicate.

He's kind of been a basketball ninja, able to operate behind the scenes yet have an immense influence on the game.

And as good as all of that stuff has been, he's been a better person.

You can say many of the same things about Tim Duncan, but you'll have to amp up the basketball praise.

Duncan has always been a stoic, quiet person publicly, but his basketball career has been brilliant and historic.

Having watched and gotten to know him since his early days at Wake Forest, Barry Jacobs has a tremendous perspective Duncan's astounding body of work and it's one you shouldn't miss.

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