So we’ve already established that Tim Duncan is super generous by NBA standards. But, as it turns out, his friendliness extends to his opponents.
Duncan won the Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award on Wednesday, a distinction that recognizes preeminent leaders, serial selflessness and phenomenal mentors And, from a San Antonio Spurs perspective, it’s easy to see why he would win. He’s accepted pay cut after pay cut to help the team remain competitive, and he’s been around for nearly two decades, seldom generating any bad buzz.
But Duncan is also really nice to his opponents—or at least Etan Thomas.
Here is my Tim Duncan story.
So we’re playing the Spurs and I get the ball on the post. I inside pivot and sweep to the middle for my jump hook and he blocks it. So as we are running down the court he says to me “that was a good move but you have to get more into my body so you can either draw the foul or I can’t block it”.
So I didn’t know if he was talking noise or what so just kind of looked at him confused and said ok. Then, a few plays later I did it again got more into his body and he couldn’t block it. I missed the shot and he looked at me and said much better and kept playing lol. I remember calling my boy Zee Chilton and telling him this story lol Tim Duncan is honestly one of the nicest guys in the NBA and one of the best power forwards ever. Respect.”
Let’s be real: That’s dope.
Kevin Garnett is known for his trash talking and, frankly, pushing the limits of mid-game human decency. Kobe Bryant isn’t heralded for his antagonization tactics, but he would sooner bite the head off of an actual Black Mamba than give genuine, well-intentioned advice to a teammate, let alone an opponent.
Duncan, another face of that generation, has no qualms about helping out the enemy, though. And that seems to be his personality in a nutshell. He’s not especially overt, and his facial expressions can be scary, but his stoicism isn’t the symptom of a sense of superiority and entitlement.
It’s just Duncan being Duncan.
And offering advice to an opponent mid-game, while perhaps inviting him out for warm milk and flan afterward, is so Duncan.