Why is this true? Why don't people appreciate Tim Duncan as what he is, which is one of the absolute greatest players of all time?
It might be because he's somewhat boring. There's no flashiness to his game, not even his dunks. He never gets too high or too low. The most emotion he's ever shown is when he said FIBA "sucks."
He's just sphinxlike, and that doesn't always go over very well. Kareem got a bit of that in his day: he has always been a thoughtful, reflective man, and a bit introverted.
You can't really get mad about it; people should be true to their natures.
Duncan's has cost him, perhaps, but one gets the feeling that he doesn't really care. He's never changed much.
Dave Odom was frustrated when, on a recruiting visit, Duncan watched TV while he talked. He asked him, "Tim, did you hear anything I said?" So Duncan repeated it word-for-word.
You should never underestimate this guy.