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Tim Duncan: The other side of this basketball legend

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After 19 seasons, five championships, two most valuable player awards, and many other accolades with the San Antonio Spurs, Tim Duncan, probably the greatest power forward basketball has ever known, retired from the game of basketball four years ago. He left a powerful impact on the game despite the fact he was never a big fan of the spotlight.

Something you may not know about the San Antonio Spurs legend is that he co-authored a chapter in a psychology journal about “excessive egotism” during his time at Wake Forest, where he also earned his undergraduate degree in psychology.

In 1995, him and his colleagues published a book under the name, “Aversive Interpersonal Behaviors. “It’s a piece of lore inside social psychology,” he said.

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He would huddle with his professor and other assistants every week to discuss what they had read. Duncan’s co-authors said he was precisely as shy as most NBA fans would believe—but only in the beginning. One of his co-authors said Duncan was reserved when they started with the work but later enjoyed what all of them were doing.

“He’d answer questions only when I asked him directly, but he didn’t volunteer much on his own. But then, about the third or fourth week, he said: ‘Man, this is kind of fun, isn’t it? He’s probably the best-paid person to write any psychological chapter or article ever.”

Unlike most academics, Duncan had an opportunity to apply his theoretical campaign to the real world, with a lot of former NBA players saying Duncan was the best teammate they ever had.

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