Tim Duncan interview leading into NBA Finals Game 4
The San Antonio Spurs lead the Miami Heat 2-1 in the 2014 NBA Finals. Game 4 is Thursday night in Miami. Here are Tim Duncan interview quotes from Spurs practice the day after Game 3:
Question: Tim, Coach said that this time of year it's not about adjustments. It's just about working on your execution and just getting better. What do you need to work on execution-wise for Game 4?
Tim Duncan: I think for the most part we just need to bring that same kind of focus, take care of the ball. Execution-wise, we have a game plan in place that worked last night, and it's about the five guys on the floor, whoever it may be, just making sure that we make as little mistakes as possible. I think we did a great job of that in this last game. We finally put a game together for not the full 48 but for as long as we could, where we did exactly what we planned to do and executed in that respect, and that's what we're going to need again.
Question: When Kawhi, as he gets better and he improves he's having to deal with us a little bit more, more interviews. He said he did four of them after the game. When you first came in the league, you were a pretty quiet guy, too, but you've improved tremendously. Any advice that you give him on how to handle [media members]?
Duncan: (Laughing) It's time with him. He's going to get more comfortable. He's getting more comfortable, just like he is on the court. He continues to play like that and he's going to do a lot more of it. But he'll have fun with it at some point, and he'll find his own rhythm. There is nothing you can tell him. You just go out there and sit down and try not to say anything stupid.
Question: The growth of the game has exploded internationally since you've been in it. Have you ever stopped to think of how much it's grown over the course of your career and how it's truly a global game now?
Duncan: Absolutely, absolutely. It went from no matter who you played, you wondered if it was on TV or not on TV. Now you're on TV every night no matter where you play. The coverage through the playoffs and through The Finals. You go anywhere in this world and you have fans everywhere. Fans of the NBA, fans of individual players, and obviously a lot of us travel in the off-season, and no matter where you go, you can't get away from it.
So you can feel how far spreading it is, and it's great for the game. It's great for the NBA.
Question: Even with all your success and notoriety, whether you enjoy it necessarily all the time or not, have you ever been somewhere and you couldn't believe they knew who you were?
Duncan: Yes, all the time, all the time. But as I said, over the years it's kind of changed to the point where I kind of expect that no matter where I go, I'm going to be known in some respect.
Question: Have you thought you might see Haslem some in this series? You really have not, has that surprised you? And how has he defended you, in your mind, in the past?
Duncan: You know what, I didn't expect or not expect anything. We prepared for all of them, and Coach Spoelstra is going to throw out there who he believes works best for their offense.
He's always played me well, and he's a very tough competitor. He's been with them obviously for a long time and knows their system. But whoever they put out there, it's not going to be a shock to us; we're prepared for it. I think
Rashard has played an excellent series so far, shot the ball really well, spread the floor for them, and that's what they need.
Question: Has the journey been so intense over the last 15 years that you haven't had a chance to really enjoy it, and you will, the championships and accolades, after you retire, or do you give yourself a chance to appreciate what you guys have accomplished?
Duncan: I think in the last couple years I've really kind of taken a step back and stopped and enjoyed what the journey means. I think, as it comes to a close on my career, and I know it is, I appreciate it more. I appreciate every game more. I appreciate every accomplishment, and everything that we get to go through and every experience, knowing that it might be the last time I do it.
Question: I wonder if you can sort of comment on the arc of Chris Bosh's career being such a star with such great statistics in Toronto and then coming here and having to kind of sacrifice a lot of those numbers and maybe glory to other players for the benefit of winning. What have you observed how his career has changed and the way people perceive him?
Duncan: Well, his skillset is still there. He's still a very effective player and you can see it on a nightly basis what he does and what he's allowed to do. He did what some players aren't willing to do, to give up the stats and everything else to try to win, and give up some of his accolades personally to be on a championship-type team. That's a lot of respect for that. Lot of respect for him doing just that.
But he's still a big part of this team. He still continues to be an All-Star. Still continues to win games and win championships, so you give up one for another, and I think he made the right decision.
Question: Yoga became part of the storyline of the Finals when LeBron went to a hotel session. You're in amazing shape. Is it something that you've incorporated into your lifestyle? What did you do early in your career that's given you this longevity?
Duncan: No, I don't do yoga. I don't stretch well, no. Nor am I patient, so both of those things are bad.