(credit to slamonline.com)
Yesterday, my favorite basketball player turned 40.
They say often that life begins at 40. For most, this is true to an extent; the first four decades of one’s life are often spent taking in the world and living its experiences. Children and adolescents make it through school, while twentysomethings and thirtysomethings build up a life through careers, interests, and whatnot. At forty is where most of us would like to peak, with the energy of youth driving us and yet the experience of age tempering us. I have but sixteen years left to go before that milestone.
Yet the world of sports is a different beast. In a world where peak physical ability is paramount, forty is considered ancient, over-the-hill; it might as well be considered as seventy or eighty are considered in society at large. In today’s basketball world, many expect nineteen year olds to become the newest crop of talents, with older draftees having their stock reduced due to having shorter primes or so. Tim Duncan and his Spurs are simultaneously at the opposite end as well as capitalizing on the youth, and yet it seems so that it is this combination that may prove to be their biggest boon.
It is also a testament to Duncan’s resilience that at the ripe old age of 40, where a teammate has joked that he’s actually 100 years old he still plays and starts for a team that just recently won 67 games in the regular season and is setting up another biennial rematch with a dynamic duo of stars from Oklahoma City. This is a man who as a 21 year old rookie put together an impressive season, and 19 years and five championships later, he still is in pursuit of a lofty goal. He may not be the force of nature he was in his prime – not that his team needs to – but he still goes out there, putting in work and doing everything he can in search of number six.
Godspeed, Tim Duncan.