WATCH: NBA stars, Popovich celebrate Duncan’s stellar career | Inquirer Sports

WATCH: NBA stars, Popovich celebrate Duncan’s stellar career

/ 03:02 PM December 19, 2016

In a legendary career that spanned 19 years, Tim Duncan certainly put San Antonio basketball on the map.

The ever stoic big man from the Virgin Islands was an instrumental figure to the franchise’s consistent dominance which yielded five championship titles, two regular season Most Valuable Player awards and three Finals MVPs.

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After blowing away the visiting New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday (Monday in Manila), the Texas-based organization paid homage to arguably their greatest player ever by retiring his number 21 jersey high up the rafters of the AT&T center.

READ: Spurs celebrate Duncan, beat Pelicans in fundamental fashion

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Several notable personalities from Duncan’s illustrious career gathered at center court to share their greatest stories of the retired superstar—highlighted by an emotional and hysterical speech by non-other than his beloved mentor, Gregg Popovich.

The usually calm and composed Spurs head coach choked up a few times and was visibly holding back tears as he fondly recalled the greatest moments he shared with ‘The Big Fundamental’, whom he called as his ‘soul mate’.

“To Mr. and Mrs. Duncan who have passed,” Coach Pop referred to Duncan’s deceased parents. “That man right there is exactly the same person now as he was when he walked in the door.”

Tony Parker, who served as Duncan’s primary playmaker for the past 15 seasons, referred to the 15-time All-star as a “superstar-plus-plus,” adding, “He’s by himself in his own league.”

The Frenchman guard also lauded Duncan as a teammate who cared on a personal level and showed genuine interests on issues off the court. “He wanted to win. But off the court, he was the best”.

“I will always look at you as the great example to follow, except for the clothing,” Parker joked to end his speech.

Continuing the hilarious mood of the ceremony was Parker’s backcourt ally Manu Ginobili, who comically suggested that perhaps Duncan’s many pats on Ginobili’s head caused the latter’s male pattern baldness.

“So many pats in the head, you know what happened up there,” the Argentine pointed at his bald spot much to the delight of everyone in attendance.

Also present in the ceremony were Duncan’s retired teammates from the early 2000s, namely David Robinson and Bruce Bowen. Timmy’s college coach at Wake Forest University Dave Odom, San Antonio Spurs general manager R.C. Buford, and Duncan’s children and girlfriend were there as well. Khristian Ibarrola/rga

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TAGS: 'The Big Fundamental', Gregg Popovich, jersey retirement ceremony, NBA All Stars, San Antonio Spurs, speech, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker
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