Thank you, Mr. Duncan

I never liked San Antonio Spurs.

I couldn’t bear watching them playing against my favorite teams over the years, namely, Los Angeles Lakers (Kobe Bryant), Dallas Mavericks (Dirk Nowitzki), Phoenix Suns (Steve Nash), and winning time and time again.

I thought they were cowards who preyed on their opponents’ errors. I thought they were the most uncreative bunch who could even dunk properly. Most of all, I never thought highly of the center of the team — Tim Duncan.

Yes, I know he held probably the highest degree in the league. But still, he seemed so beige to me.

That was probably until then I read the news about his retirement. I suddenly realized that the man had been with the same team as long as I could remember watching NBA.

When everyone was shouting for attention in this world of social media, he focused on just one thing — basketball in addition to family and friends.

I tried to imagine what kind of life that was. So simply. And yet, so profound.

Isn’t it his persona? This quietness. This resilience. This focus.

I find myself reading about the guy at the verge of his retirement. We need more heroes like Duncan, who led without seeking for attention, who played his part and no more and no less.

Don’t you love the guy when he says —

I’m just a basketball player. I play the game. I go home.

I didn’t. But I do now. Thank you, Mr. Duncan, for all those “beige” years.

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