5 NBA Hall of Fame legends who might retire before the next season
We may have seen the last of these 5 legends without a grand farewell tour like Bryant's.
Father Time remains undefeated. The one opponent to whom every NBA legend had to bow down to. However well a player may age, there will always come a time to call it quits.
The turn of the century witnessed the explosion of YouTube and social media. The stars who shined in this era and helped usher the NBA to the new millennium are on their way out of the gate. Kobe Bryant opened the floodgates, so to speak. And there is a good chance we may have seen the last of these other five Hall of Fame caliber players.
Here is a look at five players who may not suit up for the 2016-2017 NBA season:
1. Tim Duncan
The fact that the Spurs' aging core is too old, is itself too old. This fact has been repeated ad nauseum. Tim Duncan has played 1392 regular season games and 251 playoff games. That's a lot of mileage under those creaking legs.
When the Suns eliminated the Spurs in 2010, people considered them too old. Every single year since then, the Spurs have been seen as being too old. And every year, Duncan has got older. When LeBron took off for south beach, people were writing the Spurs off as too old. We know how that turned out.
In the 2015-2016 season, the Spurs set the record for most consecutive seasons with 50+ wins to 17. If the 98-99 season wasn't shortened due to a lockout, the Spurs would have extended it to 19 seasons.
Duncan had a 2 year contract, with the second year being a player option. He's chosen to exercise that option of $5.6 million. But there's a chance he may still retire. If he hadn't exercised that option, the Spurs would have had to keep $9 million in cap space reserved for him, hampering them in the free agency. This way, he's helping the franchise.
After Bill Russell, Tim Duncan is perhaps the greatest winner in all of basketball. He's won the championship in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007 and in 2014. That speaks to the consistency of the franchise, driven by the star player.
Tim Duncan has never missed the playoffs in his tenure with the Spurs. He has averaged 19 points and 10.8 rebounds in the regular season. Quite an accomplishment for a player who started playing basketball in the ninth grade because his swimming pool was destroyed by a hurricane.