After spending almost 20 years in the NBA, San Antonio Spurs power forward Tim Duncan has officially retired. However, even though he admitted that he can still continue playing, he noted that being a professional basketball player is not fun for him anymore.
Duncan first joined the Spurs in 1997 as the team's No. 1 overall pick. During his long-time career with the team, he was able to lead the Spurs to five NBA championships in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014.
With his track record with San Antonio, it's probably very safe to say that Duncan had a very illustrious career in the NBA. Although some would say that age played a huge factor in his decision to retire, the 40-year-old athlete also cited another reason.
"I can still do this," he said during an interview with Vivid Streaming according to ESPN. "But when it's time, it's time. It's time. I started not enjoying myself. It wasn't fun at times. And I always said when that point comes when it's not fun anymore then I'm done."
Although Duncan did not point out exactly when he lost his motivation to play in the NBA, he might be referring to his last season in the league.
During the 2015-2016 season, his average stats dropped to 8.6 per game. During the season before that, he was averaging 13.9 points. His career-high average happened during the 2001-2002 season when he averaged 25.5 points per game.
But aside from the dip in his performance, another reason could be the injury that forced him to miss several weeks-worth of games.
However, this doesn't mean that he stopped enjoying playing in the NBA and for the Spurs. In fact, in a heartwarming letter, Duncan thanked everyone who helped him become the player that he is today.
""The fans inside the arena and out, the staff and coaches who pushed me and held me together, the teammates (and even opponents) who will be lifelong friends, sharing my ups and downs with family and close friends, and, most importantly, the snapshots of my kids growing up and reveling in watching Dad work," he wrote. "This is what I will cherish the most."