In a segment on ESPN's Sportscenter titled "Second Half NBA Storylines to Watch," former Denver Nuggets head coach George Karl was asked by Jay Crawford if this could be San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan's last NBA season.
Karl had an interesting comment about what he's heard. (H/T Scott Sommer)
"You know over the weekend, that was the whispers that I got. I got a couple of phone calls, one from San Antonio that said that Tim Duncan's thinking this is going to be his last year. The best, most fundamental big guy ever to play in the NBA, and he leaving would make me very very sad. The San Antonio Spurs without Tim Duncan would be very difficult for me to watch."
The full video can be viewed here.
Duncan will make roughly $10.4 million this season per BasketballInsiders.com, and he has a player option going into next season worth the same amount, if he chooses to exercise the option.
Though he missed making the All-Star team this season due to limited minutes and rest in some cases, Duncan is still performing at a high level, as he's been the Spurs' anchor these last two months while the team has dealt with numerous injuries to key players on their roster.
Just this past Wednesday, Duncan had a phenomenal second half in Boston as he scored 23 of his 25 points in the third and fourth quarter to help the Spurs win their 38th game of the season, and go into the All-Star break with the second seed in the Western Conference.
Per 36 minutes this season, Duncan is averaging 18.9 points, 12.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 2.5 blocks per game. Duncan is also shooting 49.5% from the field per 36 minutes.
No one but Duncan will ultimately know when it'll be time to hang his jersey up permanently, but in the meantime, whether it's this season or next, Spurs fans and basketball fans in general need to savor these last few moments of Duncan's historic career.
(Statistics via NBA.com/Stats)