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Even retired, Tim Duncan is awe-inspiring

Tim Duncan has been able to step back into obscurity in his retirement, but when he wants to step out for a great cause, it’s no surprise he’s able to get people to follow.

There was an interview once conducted by Adrian Wojnarowski, formerly of The Vertical, with San Antonio Spurs General Manager R.C. Buford that discussed the culture of the Spurs and how they treat their players. This interview happened not too long after Tim Duncan announced his retirement at the end of a 19-year career.

Just over 31 minutes into the interview Buford recalled a story where Duncan’s father, William Duncan, just before he passed away, had a conversation with Gregg Popovich. The elder Duncan told Popovich to “make sure he leaves the game the same person that he is today.” After four more NBA Championships, two Finals MVPs, two league MVPs, several All-NBA teams and 15-years later, it can easily be said that Popovich made well on William Duncan’s final fish regarding his son Tim.

None of the fame got to him. He just remained a quietly confident leader of men who worked hard and stayed humble. His character was never in question, and now that his career is over, it is even more clear that Tim Duncan certainly is more than just a special short of a basketball player, but a special sort of person.

A native of the Virgin Islands, Duncan was never the loudest but always had a large presence and continues his compassion for others as he tries to bring awareness to his come country’s plight dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and the probable onset of another Category 5 Hurricane, Maria. Duncan donated $250,000 of his own money to storm efforts and pledged to match donations up to the first million dollars of others.

That’s just who Duncan is. Even upon his arrival as a 20-year-old on a veteran roster in an era stacked with Hall of Fame big men, including his teammate David Robinson, it was impossible to ignore Duncan, even when many fanatics would claim his fundamental style of play is considered by many to be boring. There was just something great about his stoic demeanor and intense desire to compete that showed his tremendous character; tremendous character that is still shining and drawing attention even now after he is no longer on the hardwood.

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Raised in brooklyn, NYC, music and sports were the muses of life. Hip-hop was the soundtrack to life, arguments about who's the best rapper or athlete was everyday. Writing, music and competition was therapy. Growing up in NYC meant you had to make decisions early, Giants or Jets, Mets or Yankees, Biggie, Nas or Jay-Z. Jaime chose the Giant’s and the Mets and in the 80’s it was fun times. Number 27, of big blue, Rodney Hampton was mashishing linebackers and the Met, Darryl Strawberry was hitting home runs, the 90’s were a different story. The 90’s rose also rose the arguably the best basketball team of its era,The Chicago Bulls and the great Michael Jordan. The knicks were a hapless organization and Jordan and the Bulls ensured that. So becoming a Bulls fan was an easy choice. Jaime as an adult found martial arts, first dabbling in Muay Thai then to Jiu-jitsu, Wrestling, Boxing and MMA. He has trained in Jiu-jitsu for the past five years, earning a blue belt. Jiu-jitsu is physical chess and being a practitioner you learn lessons that you take off the mat. The same can be said for Boxing, MMA, Wrestling or Muay Thai, through combat sports you learn humility or it smacks you in the face. He has competed in amateur boxing, wrestling, jiu-jitsu and mma. Now he’s filling out his dreams and doing what he loves love most; writing and being around competition. And if you’re wondering about Who's the best MCs, Biggie, Jay-Z, or Nas? Biggie Smalls is the illest.

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