His name rarely surfaces in the conversation. Mention the subject "G.O.A.T," and it's usually Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson from the past and LeBron James and Kobe Bryant in the present. Even Kevin Durant tends to join the debate ahead of the player who is trying to cement his legacy among the all-time greats in this year's NBA Finals. Like his demeanor on the court, San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan just shrugs his shoulders when asked why he is left out of the discussion despite his long list of accomplishment. At 37, he is fine with the label of "timeless classic" and stands three wins from winning a fifth championship. "It has never bothered me," Duncan said of the limited attention. "It doesn't matter." To Duncan, the only thing that matters is wins. It has never been about shoe deals, commercials or appearing on the cover of video games. He's played his 16-year career with a portion of the Indiana Pacers' motto. Blue-collar minus the swagger. "I don't want him to sound disrespectful," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "He has great respect for those that have come before him, and he loves the game. But as far as personal accolades or legacy, it doesn't even enter his mind. Very honestly. That's not disrespectful to basketball. It's who he is. He plays the game, he enjoys the game, and respects it. But anything that's put toward him in an accolades sort of way, that's not something he spends any time thinking about. I guarantee it." The resume clearly proves he deserves consideration when it comes to the best player in history. He became the second-oldest player to make first-team All-NBA, earning the honor for a 14th time. Only Bryant and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have more selections. He averaged 17.8 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.65 blocks while becoming the fourth player in history to play in the Finals in three different decades, joining A.C. Green, John Salley and Elgin Baylor. As far as his legacy, he will only think about it after his playing days are over. Even then, he will leave up to fans and media instead of talking up his greatness.
Spurs' Duncan makes credit secondary
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | Jun 9