Duncan to have No. 21 jersey retired on Dec 18

SAN ANTONIO (Texas) • Tim Duncan, who played almost two decades with the San Antonio Spurs and captured five National Basketball Association (NBA) titles, will have his No. 21 jersey retired, the team announced on Wednesday.

The Spurs said the ceremony would be on Dec 18, when they host the New Orleans Pelicans.

Duncan will become the eighth Spurs player in franchise history to have his number raised to the rafters, joining Bruce Bowen (No. 12), Sean Elliott (32), George Gervin (44), Avery Johnson (6), Johnny Moore (00), David Robinson (50) and James Silas (13).

The forward is one of just three men, along with John Stockton of the Utah Jazz and Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, to spend at least 19 seasons with one team.

Duncan, selected by the Spurs as the first overall pick in the 1997 draft, helped the franchise post a 1,072-438 regular-season record during his time in San Antonio.

In his NBA career, the 15-time all-star appeared in a total of 1,392 games and averaged 19.0 points, 10.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists. He shot 50.6 per cent from the floor and 69.6 per cent from the free-throw line.

"You don't see Timmy beating his chest as if he was the first human being to dunk the basketball, as a lot of people do these days," coach Gregg Popovich said of the 40-year-old, according to the NBA website.

"He's not pointing to the sky. He's not glamming to the cameras. He just plays, and we've seen it for so long it's become almost mundane.

"But it's so special that it has to be remembered."

There is now an official date to do just that.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 18, 2016, with the headline 'Duncan to have No. 21 jersey retired on Dec 18'. Print Edition | Subscribe