Tim Duncan has managed to be in the professional basketball for 17 years as the consistent starter, leader and face of the San Antonio Spurs. This is all attributed to his dedication and consistency.
Before Duncan had made himself eligible for the NBA, he had been sought after for years by professional teams from the moment he finished high school. Tim had other aspirations, including his commitments to completing his college education and polishing up his basketball fundamentals.
It was only after finishing these goals that he made himself available for NBA play, and has been with the Spurs since they drafted him in 1997.
In the mid-1990’s, players like Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant skipped their post-secondary education and headed straight to the big leagues; today, these players are shells of their former selves, and nowhere near their prime. Duncan, on other hand, credits his consistency to the time he spent honing his skills playing college basketball.
During his illustrious career, Duncan was offered numerous opportunities to leave San Antonio any time he approached free agency. To him, the attention of a bigger market, more money and endorsements wasn’t what was important. Instead, he focused on winning.
The foundation he had established within the heart of Texas and his dedication to his team is what established continuing success and championships for the franchise. This year, he was given the accolade of being a major factor in winning multiple NBA titles in three different decades.
Through proving he was worth the wait for San Antonio, he has earned their loyalty as well. Perhaps that’s the secret to the Spurs’ success: the foundation of commitment inspires the team to work not only for themselves, but each other.
“We’re not dumb. We all know we wouldn’t have any rings without Timmy. Everybody understands that. We all feel like we’re working for Timmy.”— Sean Elliot, Tim’s team mate on the Spurs
In a sport where athletes last an average of seven years at best, Tim Duncan is already on his way to his 18th straight season and isn’t showing signs of slowing down.
If one wants to be great or irreplaceable, they must establish themselves with their drive, commitment and dedication to people that support them. No matter what situation, they will be in a position of security, growth and success.