End Of An Era In San Antonio?
With their 113-99 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder in game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals, and 4-2 series loss, The San Antonio Spurs head into the off-season with a load of questions surrounding a number of veterans on their team. Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker are all nearing the end of their NBA career.
For at least the past three seasons, the Spurs players have heard the swirling rumors about the retirement of some of the franchise's iconic players. This off-season, those rumors may become a reality. especially for two of them.
Manu Ginobili will be 39-years-old at the start of next season and his body and play have showed signs of deterioration. Ginobili wasn't much of a factor for the Spurs in the playoffs and only scored 5 points in their game 6 loss.
"Of course, it's been an amazing run," Ginobili said. "We all enjoy playing with each other. I'm so proud of having played with those guys for so many years and winning so many games, and even playing with the new guys. If there's a reason why you always want to come back and keep being part of this, [it's] because of the amazing chemistry, the good times and the good people that you play with and spend time with. It's not always about winning a game or winning a championship. But you learn from losses, and it's important to enjoy every day. Being a part of this team, I'm very proud of it, even if sometimes it doesn't go our way."
The major question surrounding the Spurs is whether or not we have seen the last of Tim Duncan.
Duncan played well in game 6; the only game in which he scored double figures (19 points) in the series. Duncan's body has caught up to him recently as he has needed a considerable amount of rest to make it through a season. The big question for Duncan is the health of his knees. He has had knee problems in the past and his decision may come down to whether or not he can take the wear and tear of an 82+ game season given they make the playoffs next year (which they undoubtedly will).
Could this be the last of Duncan? Absolutely.
Duncan seems to want to spend more time with his family as well.
Parker being the youngest of the three will likely return for the Spurs next season. He is another guy that thrives off of rest during the season in order to be healthy down the stretch. His play failed him in the playoffs this year, but can he turn it around and make the Spurs a championship contender next season? They still have great pieces in Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge that can carry the team, but will the veterans be able to contribute the way they used to?
Do you think any of the Spurs players will retire?