Tim Duncan has been playing at the top of the NBA for sixteen years, winning four NBA titles and becoming an all-round legend of the game in the process.
But an NBA career can only go on for so long, and at the age of 37 the San Antonio Spurs big man is undoubtedly coming towards the end of his.
And his old coach George Karl believes it could happen as early as the end of this current season.
Speaking on ESPN, Karl revealed that he had heard suggestions Duncan was considering retirement:
"Over the weekend, that was the whispers that I got.
"I got a couple of phone calls - one from San Antonio that said Tim Duncan's thinking like this is gonna be his last year," said Karl.
Karl spent forty years in the league, as both player and coach, and believes Duncan will be remembered as one of the best whenever he does retire from the court:
"He's the most fundamental big guy ever to play in the NBA, and his leaving would make me very, very sad."
Duncan himself has not commented on his future, and remains in good form this season for the Spurs.
The center is averaging 15.6 points,10 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game.
But the 1997 first overall pick has never been one for dramatics, and so could perhaps be tempted to leave at the top without a prolonged exit.
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