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NBA News: Tim Duncan Retires From The San Antonio Spurs

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

All right. Here's someone who's retiring a bit more gracefully than David Cameron did. Basketball star Tim Duncan is quitting, which means we are not going to hear this anymore.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER: Duncan again, right back to Duncan, Haslem bodying up, Duncan flicks it up and in.

INSKEEP: That was from the 2014 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat. Duncan was playing for the San Antonio Spurs, as he always did. He played on five championship teams.

DAVID ALDRIDGE: Timmy was not flashy. He was not looking to show other people up. He just wanted to score and keep you from scoring.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

That's David Aldridge, a reporter for Turner Sports who has covered Tim Duncan's entire career.

ALDRIDGE: Tim is generally regarded as the greatest power forward of all time, and he did that in San Antonio. And I think he did his best work because he was in a smaller town and didn't have the constant scrutiny that he may have had in a bigger city.

INSKEEP: The Spurs made the playoffs every year with Tim Duncan. And Duncan accumulated plenty of records and notable achievements. Two regular-season most valuable player awards for starters and then he had this distinction - he was once ejected from a game by a referee for laughing too much. Now he's retiring at age 40.

ALDRIDGE: This is exactly the way I thought he would go out. In fact, I'm surprised he announced it at all (laughter). I just expected to go to the Spurs' media day next year and he wasn't there anymore.

MONTAGNE: Unlike other retiring sports stars, there was no long farewell tour for Duncan, just a short press release. But while he may not have tooted his own horn, he sometimes let others do it for him. After his 2014 championship win, his two children chimed in during a postgame interview.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

SYDNEY DUNCAN: I think he did awesome, and he tried his best.

TIM DUNCAN: And what else? What else? Say something nice about me.

(LAUGHTER)

DRAVEN DUNCAN: I like his hat.

(LAUGHTER)

INSKEEP: The hat - very important. Tim Duncan and his children responding to reporters in 2014. The NBA superstar quietly announced his retirement yesterday. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.