04-29-12, 09:21 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
| Column by Buck harvey |
Tim Duncan won’t leave San Antonio as Peyton Manning did Indianapolis.
For one, Duncan won’t wear a suit and tie and field questions on live television.
He’d play until he was 60 to avoid that.
But he also won’t face what Manning did Wednesday, because everything is different for Duncan. From his sport to the economics to his franchise.
The Spurs will be careful this summer — when Duncan is as free as Manning is now.
The Colts made the right move this week. Various contractual and salary cap implications made Manning’s return to the Colts tricky, and Andrew Luck made it illogical.
But the Colts’ owner, Jim Irsay, was clumsy with an already combustible situation. He’s fired off tweets in the middle of the night, refuting both medical and media opinions, which is why he needed Wednesday’s press conference more than Manning did.
Manning went along, both because he’s smart enough to sell the moment, and because he needed a chance to say goodbye. He and Indy deserved that.
Duncan should be able to relate. He and Manning were born a month apart in the spring of 1976, and their paths continued from southern colleges to become the No. 1 overall draft choices of their respective sports.
Their minds were quicker than their feet. And if Duncan couldn’t pass as Manning could, he saw the floor as Manning saw the field.
Manning won four MVPs to Duncan’s two while Duncan won four titles to Manning’s one. And along the way, winning about 70 percent of their games, year after year, their small-market teams were able to build a few things that still stand today. Lucas Oil Stadium is one, the AT&T Center is the other.
Both Indianapolis and San Antonio needed these players to keep their franchises, and that’s why both Manning and Irsay choked up at times Wednesday. Business said the Colts should part ways, but emotions didn’t.
The Spurs won’t have to face that. Duncan doesn’t have a bubble payment coming, and the dynamics of the NBA are different, too. Even if another 6-foot-11 savior was arriving, Duncan could play with him.
Still, there was a time when the Spurs wondered if they could talk a Hall of Fame lock into a salary slash. Couldn’t they better rebuild if David Robinson would take an 80 percent pay cut?
That was in the summer of 2001, and Robinson wondered out loud then if he would finish his career in San Antonio. The Spurs backtracked, and everything worked out, including another title for Robinson.
The Spurs not only remember all of this, they also saw again Wednesday what their own Manning can still do for them. Then, against the Knicks, Duncan was workmanlike with 17 points and eight rebounds in a game that was never close. It was the kind of night, given his effectiveness, the Spurs can see being repeated for another two or three years.
Months ago during the lockout, before anyone was sure there was even going to be a season, the Spurs were already thinking about this summer. Duncan’s contract is something they have to get right, and they’ve already been trying to get a sense of what he deserves.
A starting point: More than half what Duncan was scheduled to earn this season.
Duncan wouldn’t want to leave. This is all he’s ever known and, besides, he would have trouble finding another coach like Gregg Popovich. Not everyone gets ejected with a 22-point lead, as Popovich did Wednesday.
Manning didn’t have any choice, but he won’t have trouble finding another job. Soon he’ll be a Dolphin or a Cardinal or — if Houston is lucky — a Texan.
And that’s the difference between these men and their careers.
When Duncan leaves the Spurs, he won’t be going anywhere.Spurs Nation
Sorry Guys, but when I play the conjecture game I like too deal with facts and rely on credible resources.
Buck Harvey has in this article said that the Spurs are going to give Duncan a D Rob type extension. Buck in the article sys the "starting poing" is more than HALF his current contract. Well that is more than 11 mill a year.
Consequently all this speculation on offering Hibbers this or Hibberts that. Doing this with Blairs or Diaws or with a partridge in a pair tree is HIGHLY speculative.
Not to mention as it has been said by me and SpurDuncan why would Indiana give up there keystone center when they are rebuilding especially when that center is a Restricted Free Agent?