While Game 5 of the 2014 NBA Finals saw the San Antonio Spurs rack up their fifth NBA Championship victory, the number 5 was also prevalent for Tim Duncan. The big man was also celebrating his fifth Championship triumph and in a career spanning close to 1,500 NBA games, Duncan has played them for all just one team. There have been plenty of times when Duncan and the Spurs have been written off but the team and player keep on bouncing back for more. He may be 38 now, but no one is willing to write off Tim Duncan just yet, which means that the Spurs may still have some success and glory to look forward to with Duncan playing a vital role.
There is no doubt that the old guard in San Antonio has been essential to their success but there has also been some concerns from their fans about the future and progress of the team. The emergence of Kawhi Leonard brought some hope for the future and the fact that Leonard was named the MVP for the 2014 Finals indicates that there is plenty of life left in the Spurs. However, it was the presence of Duncan that brought a smile to the face of many basketball fans tuning in to the decisive game in the 2014 NBA Finals.
Tim Duncan has always bounced back
There have been times when Duncan looked as though he was on the way out of basketball, ready to take his career to a new element. The threatened lockout of the 2011-12 season was a major moment in the players career, with many speculating that he was all set to bow out from the game. If Tim Duncan had faded away from basketball in such a manner it would have been a poor and un-fitting end to the career of such a talented player.
While the 5 Championship wins will be all that some people need to know about in order to decide that Duncan is a top class player, there is a lot to be said about the manner of how he clinched those rings. There was never a back to back success in all of his triumphs. This brings its own challenges but perhaps the need to regroup and refresh is something that was at the heart of the success enjoyed by Tim and Spurs. Even last year’s crushing loss to the Heat, in such a cruel manner, may have been a series too far for Duncan but he showed the qualities that often separates the great from the good.
Real winners bounce back from defeat and adversity and there is no denying that everyone in San Antonio had a big point to prove after the 2013 NBA Finals loss to Miami Heat. The fact that it was the same opponent with the same star names possibly helped Spurs to stay focused on winning and not letting the occasion get to them. Having a player who has seen and done it all in basketball will also have helped.