Tim Duncan’s story is well known. A highly promising swimmer, a hurricane wrecked St. Thomas and ended that, so he switched to basketball. A former Wake Forest player spotted him and called then-coach Dave Odom, who convinced him to come to Reynolda. Originally supposed to be a backup to Makhtar Ndiaye, he got the job when Ndiaye was ruled ineligible at Wake Forest and went on to become one of the ACC’s best-ever and an absolutely superb NBA power forward.
He won five rings with the San Antonio Spurs and on Saturday was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame.
In his speech, among many other things said, he thanked Spurs coach Gregg Popovich in a very moving way. Check this out:
“I don’t want to talk about him. He’s going to get mad at me if I talk about him...
“The standard you set ... you showed up after I got drafted, you came to my island, you sat with my friends, my family, you talked with my dad. I thought that was normal. It’s not. You’re an exceptional person.
“Thank you for teaching me about basketball but, beyond that, teaching me that it’s not all about basketball. It’s about what’s going on in the world, your family ... just, for everything. Thank you for being the amazing human being that you are.”
Duncan was said to be boring only because he was ruthlessly efficient and never called attention to himself. All he did was win.
We couldn’t be happier for him to make the Hall. He’s richly deserving.
Also inducted Saturday: Kim Mulkey, Rudy Tomjanovich, four-time Olympic gold medalist Tamika Catchings, Eddie Sutton, Barbara Stevens and FIBA’s Patrick Baumann.