Tim Duncan still has it. If there was ever a player who’s game would age well it would be a player that doesn’t rely as much on athleticism but does the little things well and reads the game at a high level. So if you are new to the NBA and had to pick a player in this category, choose the guy they call The Big Fundamental.
One of the staples of the Spurs way is they stay connected to previous players. Numerous players/assistant coaches tell stories of Pop inviting them to the team dinners 10-15 years after they left the organization. As we wrote, Pop pointed out he hopes Manu stays with the organization and hangs around the training facility, still influencing the young players.
This is a system they implemented years ago, the most famous example being Tim Duncan. His first year after retirement there were actually theories Timmy is working hard, saving his body by not playing in the regular season and that the Spurs will just sign him to the minimum before the playoffs. That did not happen, but Timmy did continue participating in workouts, playing ball with the young ones. Now we have the latest video showing Duncan playing and looking quite good in the post. The Big Fundementals teaching by example.
Pop always pointed out that his presence enabled him to be hard on anyone on the team because, if he talks to Tim Duncan like that, then I guess it’s ok if he talks to me like that. One of the many reasons the Spurs are what they are, with 20 consecutive playoff appearances, is the culture they installed and still enforce, even though Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili are gone.