The San Antonio Spurs are getting some much needed praise after winning their fifth NBA championship just a little over a month ago. One athlete that has quietly been a long time fan of Spurs star Tim Duncan is Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees.
One thing that brings both athletes together is the love for the game and winning. Jeter is currently playing in his 20th and final season in Major League Baseball (MLB), while Duncan will be entering his 18th season in the NBA when the 2014-15 campaign begins in the fall. Both have five rings to their name.
From the New York Times:
“I have not met him, but Tim is a guy who does everything right on the basketball court,” Jeter said. “I mean, he’s not dunking from halfcourt or spinning around and doing 360s. Fundamentally, he’s as good as anyone who’s ever played the game.”
Despite playing different sports, the roles for both players remain the same. For Duncan, he has taken a backseat and has put Tony Parker in the driver seat. Jeter at age 40 can no longer do the big things for his team, but he and Duncan both understand that doing the little things can have bigger impacts.
Both athletes understand that winning games in the regular season is only a small factor in a much bigger picture. Once the regular season ends and postseason begins, the goal is to win games and win the championship. Both stars are close to ending their careers and know that in order for their teams to have a shot at winning title, they will need to take a backseat.
In the sports world athletes get respect by how you play the game and how you conduct yourself on the field or court. It isn’t about that ‘wow’ moment because when the light dims on players careers, the real ‘wow’ moment may not what you did in the game, but how you did it throughout your career.