San Antonio Spurs star Tim Duncan announces retirement

Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs will retire from the NBA.
(Image credit: Chris Covatta/Getty Images)

San Antonio Spurs superstar Tim Duncan will retire from the NBA, the team announced Monday. The stalwart forward is a five-time NBA champion, two-time league MVP, and 19-year veteran, all with San Antonio. His Spurs were eliminated from the playoffs by the Oklahoma City Thunder in May, which sparked much speculation as to whether NBA fans had seen the last game of Duncan's career.

Though Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant's in-season retirement announcement and ensuing farewell tour dominated much of the goodbye talk this season, the possibility of Duncan hanging 'em up always loomed. He turned 40 in April, and while the Spurs have been among the league's best teams for the better part of two decades, their ousting at the hands of the Thunder underscored their precarious place among the league's younger, faster, newer teams. Though he's been nothing but brilliant even in the twilight of his career, Duncan struggled in this year's playoffs.

Immediately after the Spurs' playoff loss, Duncan maintained he hadn't decided whether to retire, telling reporters he'd "get to that" after he left the arena and had a chance to "figure life out." Retirement speculation had also surrounded Duncan's fellow Spurs star, 38-year-old guard Manu Ginobili, but Ginobili announced on Twitter last Thursday that he would return to the team for the 2016-2017 season. Also last week, 36-year-old forward Pau Gasol announced he would sign with San Antonio, and almost immediately the Spaniard will face the challenge of stepping into Duncan's legendary shoes.

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The Spurs reached the playoffs in each of Duncan's 19 seasons in the silver and black, and he is the only player in league history to win a title in three different decades (one in the 1990s, three in the 2000s, and one in the 2010s). In honor of his utmost professionalism, sneaky bank shot, and ridiculous bygone jester tattoo, watch this 2015 compilation of the Big Fundamental's best career plays, below. Kimberly Alters

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Kimberly Alters

Kimberly Alters is the news editor at She is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.