Tim Duncan won't talk retirement but 'I still feel effective'
Tim Duncan isn't ready to discuss the possibility of retirement yet.
We understand, of course, why he was being asked about it in the immediate aftermath of winning his fifth NBA Championship on Sunday night, but it's unfortunate that he had all of 30 seconds to savor it before the focus changed to the future. The image of Duncan winning a fifth ring, 15 years after his first, is simply too storybook an ending to avoid considering.
As has been the case all season long, Duncan was mum on the idea, opting to say little. Even when questions were worded differently - like whether it would be tough to walk away from a team this good - Duncan didn't bite.
"I'm guessing you're leading me into a question that I'm not going to answer," Duncan said at one point. "So I will just go ahead and avoid that one."
Tony Parker and general manager R.C. Buford were a little more willing to speculate, suggesting the whole group would be back together.
And despite his best efforts, Duncan may have hinted as to where his heart is presently.
"I've always said, as long as I feel I'm going to be effective, I'm going to want to play," he said with both children on his lap. "And I still feel effective."
Well, of course he does. He averaged 15.1 points, 9.7 rebounds, three assists and 1.9 blocks in just 29.2 minutes this season, shooting 49 percent from the field. With the difficulty ramped up in the playoffs, he averaged 16.3 points and 9.1 rebounds, shooting 52.3 percent. Even at age 38, Duncan is still a terrific player.
Originally, we had predicted that Duncan would win and head off into the sunset, but now we're not as sure. And we definitely don't want him to.