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Tim Duncan Interview April 18, 2001
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NBA All Star Interview: Tim Duncan
By JEFF LENCHINER
InsideHoops.com

San Antonio Spurs star Tim Duncan, perhaps the best power forward in the world right now, was ready and willing to talk it up when we met him after a recent game. 

Jeff Lenchiner: Is there a player that you patterned your game after?

Tim Duncan: I was a big Magic Johnson fan, but I don't know that I patterned my game against him, everybody wanted to get up and down like him and run the point, cause he was a big fella, and he looked like he was having fun all the time. When it came down to it, I don't think I patterned my game against anybody.

Jeff Lenchiner: When you were at Wake Forest, what influenced your decision to stay all four years, to get a degree, to develop your basketball...

Tim Duncan: To get a degree, to develop physically and mentally; I was having fun where I was, I didn't see any reason to [give it up]... I held it on as long as I could and had all the fun I wanted to have, and now I'm in a different business.

Jeff Lenchiner: Your four years obviously paid off, what do you think of all the kids that are leaving early...

Tim Duncan: It goes both ways, you can make an argument for both sides, you can't hold somebody down, you can't make a decision for somebody, if they're talented enough and teams are willing to pick these kids, you can't hold them down in that aspect, but, it would benefit a whole lot of people if they got a year, two, three years in college, not just basketball-wise, although definitely basketball is a big thing, but just physically, mentally, just going to college and having that experience, even outside the classroom.

Jeff Lenchiner: What's the main thing you've learned about the league or yourself since coming into the league.

Tim Duncan: I have developed a lot quicker than I thought I would have, I've just been blessed to be put in a great situation, with the coach of the month here (Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is right near us during this interview) *laugh* and a core of just incredible players, so, I've just been blessed every day I've been here.

Jeff Lenchiner: Is this the year of the Spurs, again?

Tim Duncan: Absolutely.
 

More Duncan:

Tim Duncan on the team's offense: ...the team's offense is kind of built around Dave [Robinson], so, we have to find ways to score the ball, and when they double team, kick it out, we have some great shooters out there that have been playing well all year and shooting the ball well all year and when they get open looks they really lock em out for us.

Tim Duncan on Derek Anderson: He's a great guy, and he's brought a lot to the team. He's brought a bigtime slasher to the team. He's great at passing the ball and finding people but it's great playing with him because he really gets to the rim and draws fouls and kind of changes the game for us.

Tim Duncan on the team being loose yet focused: We're loose when we want to be, we know when to get serious and I think that's the great thing about this team, we don't have to be serious all the time, we can have fun and joke with each other, but when it's time to go there on the court and really put it on the floor, we know how to turn it on.

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