R.C. Burford explains why Tim Duncan decided to retire this year

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Football News

A second one-franchise player retired from the NBA this season after Tim Duncan decided to call it a day following 19 truly incredible years with the San Antonio Spurs.

The forward/center - alongside Gregg Popovich - has moulded the Texas franchise into the excellent model of consistency we see today, having won five championship rings, three Finals MVP and two MVP awards.

It came as no surprise to hear that the 40-year-old had finally called time on his playing career, but it was still sad to see a living legend walk away from his bread and butter for the past two decades.

However, it wasn't always in his mind that 2015/16 would be the final year of Duncan's career. Spurs general manager R.C. Buford recently told The Vertical podcast that it was his knee injury from December that led to his retirement.

"More often than not the only reason he didn't play his best at the end of the year wasn't because he was playing poorly, it was because his body was letting him down. And to see him persevere through that -- a year ago, he was still All-NBA. When he felt good, this year the good knee got tweaked in December and it just never, we never could get it calmed down and it was that point in time where the body finally limited him to a point that he couldn't play to what he wanted to do.

"I think he fully expected to continue to play had the good knee not blown up."

Duncan's numbers significantly dropped in his final campaign, but it is understandable for someone who was fighting an injury from December onwards. Despite his decline, his influence in the dressing room can't be underestimated and he will be dearly missed by everybody involved with the Spurs.

San Antonio Spurs
Southwest Division
Western Conference
Tim Duncan
Northwest Division

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