Tim Duncan

It’s long been considered the apocalypse scenario in San Antonio: The NBA lockout devours the entire 2011-12 season, and then Tim Duncan retires.

Duncan’s contact is set to expire after this season. If the NBA labor impasse winds up cancelling the entire schedule, would the Spurs’ franchise icon simply retire instead of re-upping for another season in 2012-13, when he will be 36?

In May, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich dismissed the notion that Duncan had played his final game in a Spurs uniform. Speaking at a basketball clinic Saturday afternoon in San Antonio, Tony Parker — Duncan’s point guard for the past 10 seasons — echoed those doubts.

Asked if a wiped-out 2011-12 season would also mean the end of Duncan’s career, Parker shook his head.

– Reported by Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News blog