For those of you interested:
I read Shaq's book (and no, its not a picture book - Thanks Admiral) "Uncut" and in it, he mentions Timmy several times in a very respectful and admiring way. He said that Tim was a cool cat that couldn't be rattled. He'd talk mess to him and try to get in his head but Tim would never bite.
Here are a couple of quotes from the book:
The Spurs won because of Tim Duncan, a guy I could never break. I could talk trash to Patrick Ewing, get in David Robinson’s face, get a rise out of Alonzo Mourning, but when I went at Tim he’d look at me like he was bored and then say, “Hey, Shaq, watch this shot right here off the glass.”
You gotta love that. I used to say Duncan and I were like two mafia bosses. I was the loud East Coast boss, taking names, knocking heads. Tim was the laid-back, one-hundred-acre farm don. Nobody knows what he does, he’s the chill mafia guy, but we both know how to carry out a hit. I was jealous of guys like Duncan and Kevin Garnett, who got to do stuff like face up and shimmy.
On Tim's health:
"I ran into Gregg Popovich in the bathroom in the spring of the 2010–11 season, and I asked how Timmy was doing, and Pop said, “His knee is bone on bone.”
Shaq on the WCF games against Spurs in 2001:
"We took Game 1. In Game 2 they were up 15 in the third quarter and Duncan was terrific, and I was like, Damn, we can’t let this happen. Kobe was thinking the same thing, and he just took over the game. He went nuts. He was spectacular and the Spurs had no answer. He brought us all the way back, and after we won I said, “He’s my idol.” And I wasn’t even kidding. We went on to sweep the Spurs—did you hear that? We swept the Spurs!"
Shaq's honest opinion of Pop and Tim through the years:
"Even though I thought a lot of Pop and Duncan, I said some crap about the Spurs through the years. But the truth is, I didn’t mean it. Those two guys knew that. They understood how I rolled. But you know at some point Pop is going to get me back. So they foul the shit out of me in the ’08 playoffs and I’m a little irritated. We play them in the season opener the following year, and the first time I touch the ball—I’m talking like five seconds into the game—they hack me. I look over at their bench like, Are you kidding me? and there’s Pop, laughing his ass off, giving me the two thumbs-up. You gotta love a guy who has a sense of humor like that. Pop understood that even though I respected him I had to market myself and sometimes that meant saying stuff to amp up the game. It was never personal. So he played along."
Thought it would be Spurs vs Celtics last year:
"They brought me in to bang Dwight Howard, and he was gone. They wanted me to rebound against the Lakers. They were gone, too. I thought it would be us and the Spurs, me and Tim Duncan, two guys with four rings going at it—but they were gone, too. I did everything I could to get back on the court. I have the holes in the back of my heel to prove it."
Much love for Tim:
"I think I’ve made it pretty clear how I feel about Tim Duncan. One of the best ever. The Spurs have changed their offense to protect Timmy a little. He’s always been a team player, so you’ll never hear him complain."