I am an athlete…emotionally. I was an athlete…literally. Which means I know about wins and losses. I know about an umpire who called a strike on my pitch—a pitch well off the plate—to get me out of an inning. I didn’t complain.
This day I learned that Tim Duncan announced his retirement. In a TD manner…to announce it through the San Antonio Spurs web page. No tour of cities to get the retirement awards of rocking chairs. No glitter. No pomp. And certainly. No circumstance.
Then tonight, Monday night, I came upon the Spurs tribute to Tim Duncan.
It was/is very emotional for me. Yes, Diane and I are Spurs fans…almost as strong as our cheer for the Broncos. And the Cubs. And for years—actually since 1997 when he joined the Spurs, the same year I moved to Austin, I have been a Spurs guy.
All the games…the 5 championships…the devastating losses…and in the middle of it all was Tim Duncan. Recognized as the best power forward ever in professional basketball.
But. To me he was a gentle giant. Okay, he complained too much on most officials’ foul calls. Yet, he was such a team player, such humility, uncompromised effort. Through it all I more than rooted for him. I admired him. Greatly. And only wish him goodness through every year to dawn.
When I saw the video, posted below, my heart rejoiced at his value…and yet I grieved because he will no longer be getting rebounds and making passes and shooting what is the lowest trajectory free throw ever.
Thank you, Tim Duncan. In a day—more, of course, a lifetime—when many have to reach up to touch bottom and many on top are better at suppressing than helping, you, Tim Duncan have brought so many of us how life can be lived…with effort…and perhaps most of all, with class and dignity.
Here’s the tribute…touching and powerful…at least to this left-handed twirler who knows a couple of things. I know the pitcher’s mound is 60 feet 6 inches from home plate. And I know, what is even more important, that Tim Duncan gave it all. Every minute of it.