Tim Duncan, the San Antonio Spurs talisman who retired on Monday after 19 seasons and five NBA titles, thanked fans and team-mates Wednesday in a letter posted on the Spurs website.
Duncan, 40, hadn’t spoken publicly since the Spurs announced he was retiring. He spent his entire career with San Antonio, who made him the number one overall selection in the 1997 NBA draft.
“If asked to write a script for my career 19 years ago, there is no way I would’ve been able to dream up this journey,” wrote Duncan, who led the Spurs to titles in 1999, 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2014.
“I stand here at the end of this ride and look back in awe of what I’ve experienced. The wins and losses will be remembered, but what I’ll remember most are the people.
“The fans inside the arena and out, the staff and coaches who pushed me and held me together, the teammates (and even opponents) who will be lifelong friends, sharing my ups and downs with family and close friends, and, most importantly, the snapshots of my kids growing up and levering in watching Dad work.
“Thank you to the city of San Antonio for the love and the support over these years. Thank you to the fans all over the world.”
Duncan, a native of the Virgin Islands, was a three-time NBA Finals Most Valuable Player and a two-time regular season MVP.
Together with Tony Parker and Manu Ignobility, he formed one of the most successful trios in NBA history. They hold the league record for regular season wins (575) and post-season wins (126).