made a career out of understated brilliance on the court, so it makes sense that he kicked off his retirement Wednesday with perhaps the most understated interview off of it.
Rather than go on a whirlwind tour of the biggest networks on television and radio, Duncan decided instead to sit down with friendfor an online interview on .
Here are some of the best quotes and notes from that nearly 90-minute sit-down talk, which appears to have taken place in his kitchen.
Why he’s retiring
“I can probably still play but when it’s time, it’s time. And it’s time.”
“I started not enjoying myself as much. It wasn’t fun as much. When it’s not fun anymore, I’m done.”
On watching Discovery Channel the day he retired rather than sports-channel tributes to him
“I didn’t want to watch. Luckily, I’m not dying. I’m just living another chapter.”
On eating pizza and not partying the night he was drafted No. 1 overall in 1997
“I enjoyed being in a situation with family and friends where where we could just talk.
On his quiet intensity and competitiveness
“I’ve always approached it a different way. I’m not a yeller and a screamer and a jumper and a pusher. I’m not gonna do all that stuff with my teammates, but I’ve been competitive from day one, and it got to the point where I’m with my kids I have to think about it and turn it off. I have to let them win this one. It’s in my nature. Whether people recognize it or not, I’m not gonna go out there and hurt someone, but if it’s up in the air, I’m gonna try harder than you to get it done.”
On San Antonio fans
“I don’t think there’s anything better to say than thank you. We’ve been blessed about winning games and everything else. We’ve lost some big ones and chances for a championship. The fans have been so awesome in their support for the team. Everybody has shown such appreciation and love for myself and the team. We have some of the best fans in the NBA and sports in general, and I’m so appreciative of that. People support, people love the Spurs, and that’s special. That’s not everywhere.”
On some of his earlier years
“The good ol’ days when the knees were really good. Remember those days?”
“I’ve been blessed beyond belief to make what I have made. It was never my motivation from day one.”
For what it's worth, Duncan earnedover the course of his 19-year career.
"I don't think giving charitable donations is something you should be celebrated for, just something you should do."
“It’s been fun. The next chapter will be fun, too, but I really enjoyed the ride, the cheers, the laughs, the highlights and lowlights, everything.”
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