The NBA conference finals are here, and the championship round is just around the corner. It’s down to four teams — the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder — but only one player brings Caribbean heat to the court.
Tim Duncan has been on the Spurs for 14 years, many of those as captain. Born in the U.S. Virgin Islands, he began his athletic career as a swimmer until a hurricane destroyed his local pool. He turned to basketball, and the rest has been NBA history.
Unlike most top-notch players who attend college for a year or two before going pro, Duncan played four years at Wake Forest while earning a psychology degree. This balance may have helped him battle the negative pressures of NBA fame.
The Spurs have won four NBA titles with Duncan. Duncan himself has been on 13 All-Star teams. Now they are two wins away from a fifth chance at the NBA Finals. When you consider that the Spurs have won 20 games in a row, you have to like their chances. As another plus, Duncan isn’t seen in tabloids or getting suspended from games: his focus is solely on the game.
Although he is ridiculously consistent, this year saw a dip in his regular season stats. Perhaps this will be his last year. (Although judging by the way he's playing now, he may have a few seasons left in him after all.) If this is his final season, he can go out confidently and saying he performed as well as anyone in league history on and off the court.