Tim Duncan is one of the greatest to ever play the game of basketball. We knew that a long time ago, but still Duncan has continued to produce at a high level, leading the Spurs to consecutive Finals appearances at 38 years old. Of course, the constant pounding has taken a toll on his body, and recently he talked about that with NBA.com’s David Aldridge.
Check out what Duncan has to say about learning to change his style of play to reflect his diminished athletic ability.
Me: Pop has frequently said that you’re playing on one leg now –
TD: One and a half, maybe.
Me: One and a half. But how do you accommodate for what your body can’t do anymore?
TD: You learn to play. You learn to play around it. I’ve been blessed this year. I’ve actually felt as good as I have in a long time. I’m not as explosive as I used to be — not that I ever was explosive — but just playing within myself. I’ve kind of changed my game a whole lot. I play off of those guys and let Tony and Manu and Kawhi, let those guys set things up, and I try to get in a position to help them finish, and do the things that I can do. I’m not the one-on-one player I used to be. I’m not the isolation player I used to be. I don’t do that stuff anymore, as much. So it’s just trying to find a way to be effective with what you have.
It’s interesting to see Duncan speak so openly about the challenges he faces by his diminishing athletic ability. It hasn’t slowed him down any, however, as he continues to play at a crazy high level. And he’s going to need to keep that level of play up if the Spurs want to end the Heat’s championship streak.