After playing for 19 seasons in the league, San Antonio Spurs icon Tim Duncan decided to hang up his boots as a five-time NBA champion, two-time MVP, and 15-time All-Star. It was a legendary career, and we bet most players in the league would fancy leaving the game the same way Duncan did. But just when you thought Timmy was done after retiring, you’re wrong.
A different Spur
For those who don’t know, Duncan has been training kickboxing under the tutelage of San Antonio gym owner Jason Echols. And when he retired from the NBA in 2016, Duncan and Echols were already training “for nearly a decade.”
Over time, Echols got used to Duncan’s combat sports skills, but he will never forget how he was shocked by the then-Spurs superstar during their early days in training.
According to Echols, he wasn’t really an NBA guy but in San Antonio, everybody knew who Duncan was. He was also aware that “The Big Fundamental” was often silent. But in kickboxing, a “different” Duncan was showing up.
“When [Duncan] he walked in, he was always the quiet guy in the public eye; I believe I saw a different side of him, because he’s a roaring lion in martial arts,” Echols told Bleacher Report in 2017. “He’s an animal. It’s a different thing than what you see out on the court… he’s a f**king monster.”
Echols added that Duncan would make an excellent yet scary kickboxer as his “elbows are like spears and his bones are really sharp.” In fact, Timmy once tore his bicep during a sparring session without even trying.
“I hit him with a right hook and his elbow caught the inside of my bicep and tore it right off, just from moving around,” he revealed.
Timmy is good at everything
Echols’ pupils train mixed martial arts for various reasons. Some want to learn self-defense, while others are fighters that want to add skills to their bag. But Duncan was different,
As per Echols, Duncan’s “passion to learn” and “competitive spirit” was impeccable, and he wouldn’t be surprised if the NBA legend became an expert in mixed martial arts one day.
“I jokingly said to someone else that it could be a cupcake-baking contest and he would win because he’s just good at whatever he does,” Echols said of Duncan. “The sophistication level of him absorbing the martial arts that we have is very, very high. It’s not hard for him to catch up with his capabilities.”
Duncan was among the most peaceful and boring guys in the NBA. But after everything his kickboxing trainer said about him, some people will surely view him differently now.