A banner bearing Tim Duncan's name and No. 21 jersey was unveiled in the rafters of the AT&T Center on Sunday to cap a ceremony befitting one of the greatest to ever play basketball.
The San Antonio Spurs honored Duncan, the five-time NBA champion, two-time Most Valuable Player, three-time Finals MVP and 15-time All-NBA selection, with a series of speeches and stories that captured what made him just about peerless when it came to combining on-court excellence with quiet leadership.
It began with Sean Elliott, the master of ceremonies, bringing up Duncan's "class and true humility." When he said that Duncan was the "ultimate teammate" and that he "changed the Spurs organization into the standard of the NBA and all professional sports," Duncan looked sheepish.
Elliott then handed the microphone over to Tony Parker, who recalled thinking that Duncan had recorded "a quiet 30 and 20," then being stunned that this was even possible. In describing what made Duncan special, Parker brought up a moment from last season, where he noticed the future Hall of Fame big man taking 20 minutes to play defense against rookie Boban Marjanovic after practice at 40 years old.