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Tim Duncan, the most coachable great player of all time – Tony Parker


PhilBoxing.com




Former San Antonio Spurs guard, who just signed a $10 million deal with the Charlotte Hornets, bade his old team goodbye with an emotional letter he said he wished to share before he joins his new club.

Contained in the letter, published in the Players’ Tribune, are his thoughts on the Spurs organization, his former teammates for 17 years like David Robinson, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan as well as coach Gregg Popovich.

Duncan, who, the 36-year-old Parker described as “the biggest reason why Spur culture exists,” was one of the personalities he focused more on his post.

“Of course, the biggest reason why Spurs Culture exists … this is pretty simple, isn’t it? We had one of the best players of all time, for 19 seasons, in Tim. But the thing with Tim is that he wasn’t only the greatest player for those years,” Parker said.

“He was also the greatest teammate. O.K., maybe this is a cliché. But I don’t think people realize how much of our team’s entire culture could really be brought back to just Tim being Tim. That’s the truth,” he assured.

Parker then went on to say that while he isn’t sure if Duncan was the greatest player of all time, he knows the big man was the greatest he ever played with, and that he was “absolutely … the most coachable great player of all time.”

“That was always our secret weapon, to me: You see this all-world player, this All-NBA First Team, MVP of the Finals, about to be MVP of the league guy, and here he is in practice, willing to be coached like he’s fighting for a spot on the team,” he related.

“It was unreal. And if you think that’s too passive for a star player to be? Well, then you’re not thinking it through on Tim’s level. Because Tim knew the truth: which was that to let himself be coached in this way, you know … that’s true charisma, and that’s true swagger,” Parker continued.

“It’s like he was challenging everyone else in our gym: The best player in the entire league is willing to put his ego aside for the good of this team — are you?” he remarked.

Parker also told stories about coach Pop, like how the coach took a chance on him, even though he didn’t perform as well as he should have in his first workout in front of the Spurs before they drafted him.

Likewise, Parker talked about how everything Popovich does is for the good of the franchise, and how sometimes that can affect players in positive and negative ways.

The Hornets will be Parker’s first team since the Spurs drafted him 28th overall in 2001.

"Thank you to the Spurs organization, from top to bottom, for the most amazing opportunity of my life -- and for 17 years of the greatest job on earth," Parker wrote in his letter.

"Thank you to Spurs fans, everywhere, for always showing up, always being loud, and always, always having my back. And thank you to the city of San Antonio, for being the only thing that I could ever possibly call it now: home," he quipped

Parker also touched on his transition to the bench for the first time in his career last season, when the Spurs made Dejounte Murray their new starting point guard. Parker said he first approached head coach Popovich about making the change.

"I came up to Pop one day, and I told him my thoughts: It was time for Dejounte to take over full-time as our starting point guard," Parker wrote. "I didn't want it to be a dramatic thing, or this ego thing, or one of these big media things, but I just wanted to get it out in the open -- for the good of Dejounte's development, and for the good of the team.”

"Pop agreed, and thanked me. And then I went and had the same conversation with Dejounte. He was grateful."

Parker also offered a few thoughts on what he expects from his time with the Hornets.

"It will be this brand new experience for me, with a brand new organization," Parker wrote. "And if you are looking for a second team to root for, in the East, you know ... maybe even give us a look. I promise we are going to give them hell," he vowed.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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