May 28, 2013, 1:12 PM EDT
Tim Duncan isn’t an ageless wonder, it’s just that his age doesn’t seem to show. Facing the best front line in the NBA this season — Memphis’ Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph — he was at the heart of the Spurs’ sweep of the Grizzlies.
We’ve marveled over the years as players such as Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant adapted their games as they aged — as their explosivness went away they improved their footwork, developed post games, figured out how to get to their spots on the floor, became better passers and basically made up for what they lost physically with their mind.
Duncan’s game was never about explosiveness and power, it was always about fundamentals and execution. He’s not as athletic now as he was in 1999 when he won his first ring, but his game doesn’t seem to have aged because it didn’t have to. Which makes it seems like he never aged.
Because of that, because of the sustained excellence, you get the feeling he will always be short-shrifted in legacy talk. He’s not flashy. Which is too bad, because his all-around game is something special to behold.
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