After 19 seasons, five NBA championships and two MVP awards, Tim Duncan’s No. 21 jersey was raised to the rafters of the AT&T Center Sunday night, officially immortalizing “The Big Fundamental” as one of the greatest players in San Antonio Spurs history.
As if he wasn’t already.
The hour-long ceremony — which took place after San Antonio’s 113-100 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans — was hosted by Spurs legend Sean Elliot, and featured speeches from coach Gregg Popovich, who teared up when he said that Duncan is “exactly the same person now as he was when he walked in the door,” and Duncan’s long-time teammates Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.
“To all of you in here, the fans, all of San Antonio — thank you,” Duncan said. “The love and support is overwhelming, especially over the last couple weeks.
” … I got so much more from you guys. From my teammates, from these guys over here (group of ex-teammates and coaches), than they can explain that they got from me, and I know that.”
The soft-spoken superstar addressed his family, ex-Wake Forest coach Dave Odomand Spurs general manager R.C. Buford before thanking Popovich, who he played under for all 19 of his seasons.
“Thank you coach Pop, for being more than a coach. For being more like a father to me. Thank you.”