Duncan Interview April
18, 2001 - - - - -
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All Star Interview: Tim Duncan By
JEFF LENCHINER InsideHoops.com
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
Lenchiner: Is there a player that you patterned your game after?
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
Lenchiner: When you were at Wake Forest, what influenced your decision
to stay all four years, to get a degree, to develop your basketball...
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.
Lenchiner: Your four years obviously paid off, what do you think of
all the kids that are leaving early...
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.
Lenchiner: What's the main thing you've learned about the league or
yourself since coming into the league.
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.
Lenchiner: Is this the year of the Spurs, again?
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.
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
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.