Tim Duncan is 40-years-old. The San Antonio Spurs legend was on reduced minutes and had career lows in production last season, but still, his retirement stings for the basketball purists.
It's not a decision that has come out of the blue; it was entirely conceivable that Timmy D was facing his basketball mortality. But the difference between the idea of one of the greatest power forwards in the history of the game calling it a day and it actually happening is profound.
In true Duncan fashion, there was no season-long retirement party or grand press conference to celebrate his 19 years on the hardwood. Instead, Duncan penned an open later - just 151 words long - to sum up his great career.
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The letter read: "If asked to write a script for my career 19 years ago, there is no way I would've been able to dream up this journey.
"I stand here at the end of this ride and look back in awe of what I've experienced."
What would Duncan remember most though? Would it be his five NBA championships? His two MVP awards? His three Finals MVP awards? Being a 15-time All-Star? None of those. The legendary forward will remember the 'people' the most.
"The wins and losses will be remembered, but what I'll remember most are the people:
"The fans inside the arena and out, the staff and coaches who pushed me and held me together, the teammates (and even opponents) who will be lifelong friends, sharing my ups and downs with family and close friends, and, most importantly, the snapshots of my kids growing up and reveling in watching Dad work. That is what I will cherish most."
That speaks to the well-rounded human being Duncan really is. As the cornerstone of the Spurs for the past two decades, the franchise have been to the playoffs 17 times in the 19 seasons.
The stability and family values he brought to the franchise set a tone that has made them a perpetual heavyweight in the Association.
Duncan signed off by thanking the city of San Antonio, and knowing the big man, it wouldn't be a surprise if this was the last we heard from him.
"Thank you to the city of San Antonio for the love and the support over these years. Thank you to the fans all over the world.
"Much love always, Tim."