Because There’s No One Better

So unassuming, he declined to take the photo alone.

I’m a basketball nut. I love reading anything -– books, articles, commentary – about the sport. But you already knew that.

What you didn’t know was how I got into it in the first place. Yes, Michael Jordon was amazing. The Bulls-Jazz playoff series in which Jordan hit “The Shot” was my first full immersive hoops experience. And as the years went by, my love for the sport continued to grow.

I loved Rasheed Wallace and the ‘Jailblazers’ era. C-Webb and Vlade Divac floored me with the beautiful passing game. LeBron James made me excited about basketball at a time where it seemed headed for the doldrums. And when I couldn’t latch onto a team or player, there was always the big market Celtics and Lakers to root against. But, above all, there was only one man that kept me glued like no other. One man that made my love for the sport manifest into an incessant fixation. One man that inspired me.

That man is Tim Duncan.

I could write 100,000 words expressing my love and admiration for the guy, but now is not that time. His team is clinging on to shattered hopes; I’m clinging on to them. I don’t ever want to let go, not for the world. If I had a choice to save lives from a burning wreckage or cling on to their fading glory, I would still cling on to them. Sad, but true.

I’ll watch them fade into painful irrelevance, because I have no choice. Because this is my team. Because there’s nothing else I’d rather do. They’ve been with me in my childhood, youth and formative years; and they’ll stay with me till the wheels come off.

They are my life, heart and soul. He is my life, heart and soul.

__________________________________________________________________________________

I chanced upon an ESPN (!) article that was actually about appreciating Tim Duncan. No, it wasn’t about how the Spurs dynasty was ending, or how Tim Duncan was never going to get his fifth ring. It was a good, if sentimental, piece about the underappreciated excellence of the Greatest Power Forward Of All Time.

LZ Granderson’s kind words were uplifting at a time where there is only doom and gloom for the Spurs Nation. But the fact that an article like this is being published on a site like ESPN just seems to confirm the inevitable: The Spurs are dead. Tim Duncan is not going to get one for the thumb.

It was a eulogy before the eulogy.

And yet, I found this gem about Mr. Fundamental, in the comments section no less.

We always say there will never be a Player X, but there truly will never be another Tim Duncan. As the game becomes even more athletic and drifts further out to the wing, as highlights become even more popular, I can’t imagine another player coming along who does it like the Big Fundamental did it.

That, coming from a Lakers fan. Of course, you’d question that perhaps he gave such a glowing assessment only because he’s, if anything, relieved that the Spurs won’t be a major threat to his team anymore. You’d question whether he would be as generous with his words if his Lakers were on the brink of elimination and not the other way around. Lastly, for every respectful netizen, you’d point to the thousands of other spiteful trolls who would continue to lambast this “boring old man” before and after him.

But, on this day, I’d rather not.

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About Andrew Seah

A sports nut trying to reconcile the disconnect between mind and limb.
This entry was posted in 2011 Playoffs, Hall Of Fame, Los Angeles Lakers, Old School, San Antonio Spurs, Tim Duncan. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Because There’s No One Better

  1. DorieStreet says:

    Thanks for the article. I’ve read LZ Granderson’s piece yesterday and commented on it before last night’s game. It was nice to read how Tim Duncan and his Spurs cohorts never were really embraced by the basketball sports media in accordance to their accomplishments over the last decade-plus. But writings such as his and yours will appear more during the next season (or lockout non-season) unfolds. Perhaps we will even see an ESPN restropective on his career when he leaves the game.

    The end is near. I’m glad I attended the Spurs-Hawks game April 5th and saw him play in person for perhaps the last time (I grew up in San Antonio but live in Atlanta).
    If the season is cancelled because of the lockout, it does not seem plausible for him try to continue on. (Maybe the season is just reduced some games as it was in 1998-99–he may elect to finish out his career playing a truncated 15th campaign.)
    Regardless, his effectiveness/level of play will diminish more (as we saw this week during the 1st round series).
    Whenever he decides to hang up his jersey for the last time, the sports world should pause and give him his due–a champion player and future Hall-Of-Fame Inductee who went about playing the sport of collegiate and pro basketball in an outstanding, yet understated way.

    • Andrew Seah says:

      Appreciate your comments, great points raised all round.

      “An ESPN retrospective”, can’t wait to see that happen!

      Unfortunately Dorie, I am over on the other side of the world and never had the chance to watch my beloved ’21′ play live. Must have been an amazing experience. What was the biggest takeaway from that game (Atmosphere, crowd, anything the cameras don’t or can’t pick up)? I’ve always wished I could see him bank that 17 footer in person, and I’m not giving up on that dream yet.

      Yes, he is declining, and the Spurs’ championship window may have closed on the Duncan era. But as a die-hard, you always hope and pray that your team will somehow find a way to remain competitive.

      How the season ended was a remarkable 180 from how it started. Tim Duncan deserves a better end than this. My heart goes out to McDyess as well, he played Zach as good as he possibly could. I just hope, barring a lock-out, our Spurs can maybe, just maybe, retool and give it another shot.

      The least the front office can do is grant Timmy another try.

  2. Robby Lim says:

    Nice post Andrew, we both love Duncan and Spurs. this piece makes me want to write something about him. Good Job! Duncan is not the best Power Forward of all time, rather he is the best big man of all time in my heart.

    • Andrew Seah says:

      Thanks Rob, you should do too! Duncan truly deserves better than what transpired this year. And I’ve never felt this bad after a playoff series loss like this one.

      I’ll be writing my thoughts on the season soon, if I can eventually get past the loss.

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