Mike Monore of Spurs Nation wrote that Tim Duncan isn't ready to decide on future plans after the San Antonio Spurs loss four straight against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals.
After a season in which he didn’t miss a single game because of injury, his scoring and rebounding averages up, his energy increased to a level that had the entire NBA trying to figure out the location of the fountain of youth in which he had bathed during the long offseason, the end of the Spurs season hit team captain Tim Duncan hard Wednesday.
Duncan made 11 of 23 shots, scored 25 points, grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds, blocked two shots and had two assists in Game 6, doing what he could to extend the season.
Making such a major contribution was no consolation whatsoever.
“Very, very disappointing,” is how he described his feelings after the Thunder’s 107-99 victory in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals at Chesapeake Energy Arena that sent Oklahoma City to its first NBA Finals — and sent Duncan and his teammates back to San Antonio to contemplate the future.
The 36-year-old veteran of 15 seasons in silver and black faces a summer of big decisions. He will become an unrestricted free agent July 1, already having declared himself a Spur for life. With a left knee that requires wearing a brace even when he is not playing, he must decide if another summer or two of conditioning and healthy eating is something he wants to continue.
Decision-making will wait until Duncan and his family have had a chance to exhale after the compressed post-lockout season concluded in such disappointment.
The disappointment, he said, won’t factor into his decision.
“Not really,” he said. “Bottom line is the summer is going to come. The summer is going to be here, and it is what it is. I’ll figure it out when I come to it. I haven’t even thought about it, and I really don’t care. I’ll figure it out when it happens, just like everything else.”
For a while, though, Duncan will think about what happened in the final four games of the Thunder series, when a 2-0 lead became four straight losses and elimination.
The widely held belief that this playoff run was the last, best title chance for the Spurs’ Big Three — Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker — is not shared by Duncan.
“I’ve never doubted the fact we’d have an opportunity and the talent enough (for a few more runs),” he said. “The front office has the ability to put a team together to continue to make runs.
“That’s not what we’re going to think about right now. We’re going to stew on this loss here and figure it out when it’s time to figure it out.”
(Photo by Kin Man Hui/San Antonio Express-News)