THE sports world was rocked with Tim Duncan's announcement of his NBA retirement barely 24 hours ago.
Past and present NBA stars went to social media with mixed reactions on Duncan's abrupt and quiet exit after a legendary 19-season career with the San Antonio Spurs. Past teammates and rivals were united in praising and acknowledging Duncan's contribution to the game of basketball.
Even Philippine sports personalities sounded off on their own social media accounts with their personal greetings to a player who many of them consider the greatest power forward of all time. Spurs lifer LA Tenorio and his Ginebra teammate Greg Slaughter joined Gilas stalwarts Jimmy Alapag and Ranidel de Ocampo among those who expressed their gratitude to the future Hall of Famer.
Of the NBA players who played in 1997, the year Duncan was drafted first overall by the Spurs, only Kevin Garnett remains. Here's a collection of the sports personalities, both in the NBA and in the Philippines, who sent their well-wishes to the newly-retired Duncan:
Kobe Bryant greeted his fellow headliner in their Hall of Fame class:
Spurs personalities from the past and present sent their regards, starting with Tony Parker:
Congrats Timmy!!! It was my honor to have been the other tower. You amazed us all! #BestEver— David Robinson (@DavidtheAdmiral) July 11, 2016
Even tho I knew it was coming, I'm still moved by the news. What a HUGE honor to have played with him for 14 seasons! #ThankYouTD— Manu Ginobili (@manuginobili) July 11, 2016
Congrats TD - you epitomized heart, humility & class. Will never be another. The Spurs, NBA & the game will never be the same. #ThankYouTD— Sean Elliott (@seanelliott_32) July 11, 2016
Spurs fan LA Tenorio sent his greetings as well:
Thank you TD aka Mr. Fundamental. One of the best PF ever played in the NBA.. #GoSpursGo— L.A Tenorio (@LA_Tenorio) July 11, 2016
Retired Gilas stars Jimmy Alapag and Ranidel de Ocampo lauded Duncan too, along with Ginebra big man Greg Slaughter:
Farewell to the Greatest PF to ever play the game. A champion who raised the bar when it comes to winning with class and humility. The game will miss you TD! #TheBigFundamental #19years #Champion #GOAT
A photo posted by Jimmy Alapag (@jalapag3) on Jul 11, 2016 at 11:23pm PDT
Thank you Tim Duncan!— Ranidel De Ocampo (@jutaca33) July 11, 2016
A photo posted by Gregory Slaughter (@gregslaughter) on Jul 11, 2016 at 8:07am PDT
Then his rivals followed suit, like LeBron James:
As well as back-to-back MVP Steph Curry:
The end of an era. Thanks 4 everything you did for the game! A Winner, and you Did it your way. Congrats, Tim! pic.twitter.com/wzuINz0aLO— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) July 11, 2016
And long-time foe Dirk Nowitzki expressed his shock:
Timmy D. Say it ain't so!!! Greatest power forward ever!— Dirk Nowitzki (@swish41) July 11, 2016
But the most heart-breaking post comes from Spurs teammate Danny Green, who still could not believe Duncan is retired hours after the official announcement:
I've been waiting all day for someone tell me it was a joke or a lie....I feel like one of the luckiest guys of my generation to be able to share the court with you for 5 years...you were and still are one my biggest idols since I was in middle school...I will forever cherish these moments and the countless times you've been the guy to encourage me and lift me up with confidence as if the roles were reversed...you truly are the greatest most humble teammate and person I've ever come across...I can go on for days about how much you've taught me, you are the ultimate professional and the reason why the spurs organization has been the best in sports for 20yrs...the league/game won't be the same without you, you will be truly missed...and I will miss you the most, because you were also the guy to have my back when pop cussed me out lol...and a final note, I would like to call...Dibs! On your parking space, seat on the plane, locker, everything! Lol I'm lucky to be able to call you family, much love tiny Tim #Thank you #Thebigfundamental #21 #GPFOAT #Legend
A photo posted by Danny Green (@greenranger14) on Jul 11, 2016 at 8:42pm PDT