Tim Duncan announced his retirement on Monday, but this post isn't really about Tim Duncan retiring. He will be missed for basketball reasons, but he wasn't a Pistons player and was a huge reason the Pistons didn't win another championship in 2005 -- so f' him, amirite?
Of much more relevance is the fact the Pistons have signed away two of the Spurs' productive bigs in the last couple summers, both of whom have worked under the tutelage of Tim. In 2015, it was Aron Baynes. This summer, it's Boban. Neither of these bigs were going to replace the retiring Duncan, but having worked directly under Duncan, they could have no doubt helped soften the blow. (LeMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol help, too.)
We'll have more on Boban soon, but of particular interest here is how Duncan helped shape the newest incoming Pistons big from the Spurs organization. In reading up on Boban, I stumbled across these awesome quotes from an article in February (H/T BR and PtR):
"I ask Tim Duncan about [defending in the paint] because he is the best at defense," Marjanovic said. "Really amazing, one of the best, the best, the best. You don't have to jump three meters to be the best blocker. Tim jumps, but not like some guys.
"I love when he says to me, ‘This is a small part, but your knees cannot be bent, not like legs, and your arms can be up here and not here.' This stuff has really helped.
"I come to him and ask, ‘What do I do?' Every time I want to have his opinion and learn from him a lot. I know he is working a lot and I want to be one day like him."
The notion of a 7'3" version of Duncan with a 7'8" wingspan and a standing reach of 9'7" boggles the mind and makes eyes bulge.
He understands the reaction.
"No, really," he said. "I watch him and how he works as a basketball player and I think I want to try to be the same as him. Nobody can be him, but I want to be a bad copy. Or I hope good copy. Let's say I try to be good copy. This is really hard but I try to work, step by step."
Thanks for helping our bigs, Tim Duncan.
More in a minute.
Until then, now your thoughts.