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Tim Duncan gets emotional during retirement speech - Dec 19, 2016


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DAVID EDOLE
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Tim Duncan
Tim Duncan (211-F/C-76, college: Wake Forest) took long pauses, choking back tears as he thanked his former coaches and teammates at his retirement ceremony at AT&T Center on Sunday.

'The love and support has been overwhelming,' Duncan said, as a crowd of more than 18,000 fans stood and cheered.

Duncan said he got way more from his teammates than he could have ever given them. And he said Popovich has been much more to him than just a coach.

'You've been like a father to me,' Duncan said to Popovich. 'Thank you.'

Duncan said he won a lot of bets Sunday.

'I didn't wear jeans,' he said. 'I wore a sports coat. I didn't wear a tie. And I spoke for more than 30 seconds.'

Duncan was serenaded with speeches from three of his former teammates, Sean Elliott, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. Dave Odom, who coached Duncan at Wake Forest from 1993-97, also gave a speech, as did Popovich.

Duncan helped the Spurs reach the playoffs each of the 19 seasons he was on the team, leading them to five NBA championships.

Popovich said that after the Spurs selected Duncan as the first overall pick in the 1997 draft, he went to Duncan's birthplace, Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, to see what the guy was really about.

He joked that he almost died two or three times on his way to Duncan's home because Duncan neglected to tell him that people on the island drive on the other side of the road.

During that trip, Popovich said that he and Duncan lived together on the beach for a few days just swimming and talking.

'From that moment I knew that he was a special individual because he basically talked about everything but basketball,' Popovich said.

Popovich called Duncan 'strange.' He said Duncan used to wear his shorts backwards at practices. And said when the team was on the road, he had to drop off carrot cake in front of Duncan's hotel room or else Duncan would be miffed.

'I had to do this for 20 years, carrot cake for 20 years,' Popovich joked. 'David [Robinson] didn't bother me that way. Sean [Elliott] never bothered me that way. But Timmy is special, so he had to have his carrot cake.'

Popovich proceeded to roast Duncan a bit.

'You think that Kawhi Leonard doesn't talk much?' Popovich asked. 'When Timmy first got here, it was like mental telepathy. I'd say something, he'd stare.'

Popovich then took on a more serious tone. He acknowledged that he can be merciless at times, but he said Duncan would never say anything back to him in front of the team. He said Duncan truly allowed him to coach.

'If your superstar can take a little hit every now and then, everybody else can shut the hell up and fall in line,' Popovich said.

He went on to thank Duncan's parents, who have both passed away, for raising such an exemplary man.

'That man right there is exactly the same person now as he was when he walked in the door,' Popovich said.   




Frank Elegar
Frank Elegar selected the top Virgin Islander playing abroad in last week's games - 10 hours ago
Here is the weekly review of the top performing U.S. Virgin Islands players, who play currently abroad. This week's number one is former international center Frank Elegar (208-86). He led Lokomotiv to a victory over the fourth-ranked Cedevita in the Eurocup in Tuesday night's game.    [read more]

Royce
O'Neale
Royce O'Neale has found a home with the Jazz - 1 day ago
By Kyle Goon The locker room floods with reporters looking for quotes after a game. There's typically a huddle around a few of the game's star players, and in a cramped space, other players can find themselves tiptoeing around a crowd. Donovan Mitchell found himself in a position he never has been in before after the Jazz held off the Washington Wizards 104-101 last Wednesday night. Mitchell, instead of being the center of attention, had to squeeze past reporters who were crushed in aro...   [read more]

Rakeem
Christmas
From island life to the NBA - Rakeem Christmas' remarkable hoops journey - 5 days ago
BY MARVIN FRANCE "It's kind of a good story," new Breakers import Rakeem Christmas(206-F-91, college: Syracuse) said in a rather laid back manner as he sat down to share his basketball story. From growing up playing baseball in the Virgin Islands to gracing the courts of the NBA and having the ear of Michael Jordan, that was kind of an understatement. "I started playing basketball real late," Christmas told Stuff. "I went to the States to have fun and be with my aunt and then it starte...   [read more]


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