On Monday Tim Duncan retired from the NBA after 19 seasons. Now after a career like Duncan’s you might expect a little fanfare to announce his retirement. There was no gigantic goodbye press conference called. There was no cool Instagram video posted. There was no picture on Twitter making the announcement. As a matter of fact I don;t think social media was involved in making the announcement at all. So how did Duncan go out; the San Antonio Spurs out out a simple press release announcing his retirement. It’s almost the way you’d expect Duncan to go out. While Duncan wasn’t looking for the spotlight as he was retiring and didn’t seem interested on having one more retirement type season, but after the career he had if he would’ve wanted that who could’ve blamed him.
San Antonio selected Duncan with the #1 pick in the 1997 draft. Duncan entered the NBA after winning 3 player of the year awards in college. He was named AP Player of the Year, Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year and he also won the John R. Wooden Award. Duncan then went on to win the 1997-98 NBA Rookie of the Year award. That was just the start of the awards that Duncan would win throughout his career. He won 5 NBA Championships with the Spurs and was named Finals MVP. 3 times. He won 2 NBA MVP. awards and he did it in back to back seasons; 2001-02 and 2002-03. Besides winning the MVP twice Duncan finished in the Top 5 of the voting 9 other times. Duncan also made 15 All-Star teams and was named MVP of the 1999-00 game. Duncan played in 1392 games; he averaged 19.0 points per game, 10.8 rebounds per game and 3.0 assists per game while playing an average of 34 minutes a game. Duncan should go down as one of the best to every play the game and I’ve even heard some experts mention he should be in the Top 5 all-time. One of the things I found more interesting about Duncan’s 19 year career was the fact that he played all 19 of those seasons with one team and he had the same head coach Gregg Popovich for all 19 of those seasons. By comparison Kobe Bryant just wrapped up a 20 year NBA career that saw him play for 10 different head coaches. That begs the question; will we ever see a player with this long of a career play for just one head coach?
Now there is no better All-Star game than the Major League Baseball All-Star game. It’s far and away the closet to the actual game that is played during the regular season. While the National Hockey League did improve their game last season and it was a lot more watchable than it had been. Of course it is a three on three game and it’s different than what they do in the regular season. The National Football League Pro-Bowl is a huge joke. In a way it’s almost understandable. Football is a very physical game and the last thing a team or even a fan base needs is for it’s Pro-Bowl player to get injured going all out in an All-Star game. The biggest joke out of all the All-Star games has to be the fiasco the National Basketball Association puts on. There is absolutely no defense played and you have to believe sooner or later we’re going to see an NBA All-Star team score 200 points in the game. Baseball is so different because it’s difficult to fake. In the other All-Star games you can make it look like you’re trying without really trying. In baseball though there’s still a pitcher on the mound and unless he’s willing to serve one up t the hitter and make himself look bad he’s going to pitch to that batter like it’s a regular game. Ever now and then you get a blowout in the MLB All-Star game, but the majority of the time you get a close well played game like last nights.
Tuesday on the Sports Time Radio podcast Dan the Man selected the National League to win the All-Star game. Of course we know by now that he was on the wrong side of that pick as the American League picked up a 4-2 victory to claim home field advantage in the World Series. What I still don’t know and I haven’t been able to find out is; why was the NL the visitors? I thought for sure with the game being played at Petco Park in San Diego that the NL would be the home team. I’ll have to do a little more research and try to figure it out. Now the NL got off t a quick start as Kris Bryant hit a solo home run in the Top of the 1st off of Chris Sale to give the NL a quick 1-0 lead. The A.L. turned it around in the bottom of the 2nd inning getting a solo home run by Eric Hosmer to tie the score and then a two-run home run by Salvador Perez put the AL up 3-1 and it turned out to be a lead they would relinquish. Hosmer and Perez both hit their home runs off of their former teammate Johnny Cueto. The AL added a run in the Bottom of the 3rd inning. David Ortiz drew a walk and then Edwin Encarnacion came into to run for him and allow Ortiz to walk off the field to a big crowd reaction in his last All-Star game. Xander Bogaerts doubled to put runners on 2nd and 3rd for the AL It was Hosmer again who came through for the AL with a single to left field off of Jose Fernandez to bring Encarnacion home and put the AL up 4-1. The NL did get a run back in the Top of the 4th inning. Buster Posey drew a one out walk. Anthony Rizzo singled moving Posey to 3rd base. Marcel Ozuna singled to center off of Aaron Sanchez to drive in Posey and cut the AL lead to 4-2. The NL got 10 hits in the game with Daniel Murphy being the only guy with 2 hits. The AL got 8 hits in the game with Hosmer and Jackie Bradley Jr. each getting 2 hits. The AL used 10 pitchers in the game with Corey Kluber getting the win and Zach Britton picking up a save. The NL used 9 pitchers in the game with Cueto being the pitcher who took the loss. Hosmer was voted the games MVP.
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