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NBA: Duncan retires after 19 seasons with spurs


07-12-2016 15:42 BJT

One of this generation's greatest players is hanging up his sneakers. Tim Duncan announcing that he will be retiring after 19 seasons in the NBA.

The 40-year-old leaves the game having won five titles. The San Antonio Spurs were a model of consistency during his time in the Alamo City, making the playoffs in all 19 of his campaigns.

Duncan, together with Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, formed one of the NBA's most successful trios. They hold the league records for regular season wins with 575, and postseason victories with 126.

Duncan, will leave the game as one of the top-15 players of all-time, and some consider him the greatest power forward ever. He is a three-time Finals MVP and a two-time regular season MVP, and led San Antonio to five titles. The first came in 1999, and the last in 2014. The Spurs posted a 1,072-438 regular-season record since drafting Duncan -- the best 19-year run in league history.

The big fundamental will be a unanimous first ballot Hall of Famer when he is up for election -- that will be in five years time.

Reaction from around the Association has come swiftly after the 15-time All-Star announced his decision to hang-up his basketball shoes.

"Tim Duncan is one of the most dominant players in NBA history," was the statement from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver who added that Duncan's "understated selflessness made him the ultimate teammate." "For two decades Tim represented the Spurs, the city of San Antonio, and the league with passion and class."

His long-time Spurs teammate Ginobili, who will play one more year tweeted: "Even though I knew it was coming, I'm still moved by the news. What a HUGE honor to have played with him for 14 seasons! #ThankYouTD".

Kobe Bryant, who like Duncan won five league titles over a two-decade career with the same team, the Los Angeles Lakers, before retiring tweeted: "Congrats TD #19yrs #GoSpursGo".

Duncan is widely considered the best power forward ever, though there is a debate as to whether he was a forward or a center. Those are just details, but there is no debating his greatness.

''Say it ain't so!!!'' wrote Dirk Nowitzki, who went head-to-head against Duncan a staggering 90 times. ''Greatest power forward ever!'' he added.

And ''Greatest'' was the word that so many of Duncan's playing colleagues in the game used, the list there including the likes of Dwyane Wade, DeMarcus Cousins, Paul Millsap, and Austin Rivers.

And even the teams he played against for almost two decades are showing their appreciation.

"19 seasons. 2x #NBA MVP, 15x All-Star & 5x #NBA Champion. Congrats, Tim Duncan, on an incredible career! #ThankYouTD" - Golden State Warriors.

"Congratulations on a legendary career, Tim Duncan. See you in Springfield. #ThankYouTD" - Boston Celtics.

"#ThankYouTD" - Portland Trail Blazers.

"A young All-Star and an all-time legend. #ThankYouTD" - Washington Wizards.

"21 on 21 through the years. #ThankYouTD" - Minnesota Timberwolves.

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