Thought this might lighten the mood around here. At least distract people for a few minutes.
This is from 1999, for those of you that have never seen it you're in for a treat.
For those of you that have it's always fun to re-read it.
Maybe especially today.
(I didn't highlight anything, it's all good.)
The Psychoanalysis of Tim Duncan -- By Tim Duncan
For this story, the good people over at Sport asked me to psychoanalyze myself. So as I lay here on my comfortable couch at home, I thought it was time that I reveal who the real Tim Duncan was. On second thought, t think itd be safer to give you a slightly fictionalized versionthat way you won't think I'm too goofy, thus keeping my "dull" image intact (remember, I'm often told, you cant do those Nike and Pro Edge Gel commercial if you get too weirded out).
Ok, here goes: I've got a million things going on in my head at all times. There I said it. If you ever see me and think I'm being standoffish, please forgive me. I am just trying to listen to the inner voice that tortures me so.Just kidding. Seriously, in these moments, I am doing nothing but thinking. Sometimes thinking about nothing.
That is why I am a quiet person by nature. After all, it is difficult to think while talking, and close friends of mine will readily attest to that fact. But back to the psychoanalysis at hand, thats why I love being quietbecause I just love to think. I took up psychology in college at Wake forest for that very reason. Im not planning on opening up a practice anytime soon (although if this lockout lasts much longer it may not be too bad of an idea); I just love the inner workings of the mind. I was able to learn how people think and I really liked that. I was always interested in how people were feeling, how people would react to different thingswhat you could do to make them react in certain ways.
Sometimes I think I think way too much. If I let myself go unrestrained, I can easily overanalyze things. I can overthink things when things are happening good or bad. I can make It more than it is or I can make it less than it is, and sometimes its best just to leave it as it is.
Over the years, I've learned I actually like viewing pressure situations comically so that they don't stress me out. AJ (Avery Johnson, to those lost souls that don't follow the Spurs closely) likes to tell a story all the time about how we were involved in a close game. He missed two or three lay-ups in a row and was starting to stress out. I just came over and asked him something out of the bluesomething like, "What kind of music do you like to listen to?" He just looked at me real funny, like "What the heck are you talking about? Why isn't your mind on the game?" Then he looked at me, and I think he understood what I was saying. "Its not a big deal. It happened. Its gone. We can't change it now. Think about something else." He always tells people about that and laughs it off.
Right now, everything I am writing has a big restrainer on it. I do this for your sake. If I write everything down that I am thinking, then you make all think I have lost it.
You ever see the movie Good Will Hunting starring Matt Damon? Thats probably the best way to get a true psychoanalytical picture of me. I am just a taller, slightly less hyperactive version of the Damon character in that movie. I just enjoyed how he probed people and found out their weaknesseswhat they liked and didnt likejust by asking questions and saying outlandish random stuff, just to get a reaction. People expect me to be this shy, quiet type, so Ill ask them outlandish questions in a serious tone many times just to get a reaction. When people asked me when the lockout would end, I would whisper "February 10... but dont tell anybody." I just do goofy stuff like that simply to get a reaction. Life is too short to be serious all of the time. Not only that, but some of your best pranks can come when others think you are serious.
I try to take this mentallyprobing attitude on the court with me at all times. People in college thought I was lackadaisical because I didnt show emotion. They thought I was soft because I didn't yell with every rebound. Emotions must not always be shown, if you show excitement, then you may also show disappointment or frustration. If your opponent picks up on this frustration, you are at a disadvantage. I made sure my opponents didn't know what was going on in my head, I guess thats why the fans never knew either. Basketball is like a chess game, you cannot reveal all that you are thinking or you will be at a sizeable disadvantage to your opponent.
Basketball to some players is mainly a physical event, to me it is both physical and mental. You must not only conquer your opponents physically, you must also beat them mentally. You must at times out think them. I have to use my shot fakes and things that will work for me. In order to beat my opponent, I have to make basketball become a thinking mans game. I might take a jump shot this time, so that the next time, my opponent is looking for another jump shot. Thats where I then pump-fake him in the air and go around him to the basket where I use my incredible hops, jump over everyone and do a 360 slam dunk! (Sorry, got caught up in the moment, I meant I take one dribble and shoot a jump shot, although the 360 does sound cooler)
Have you ever noticed that some people while playing always seem to hit themselves in the same place? Whether it is they bang knees often, or they always seem to get hit in the head. Unfortunately, I have one of these problems, only I wish it were the knee or the head. Lucky me, it is a place in the middle of these two, that only males havegot it yet? Yes I get hit often in the gonads.
I don't know why I have this propensity, I just do. That is my major area of weakness. I dont know how this happens, I don't know why this happens, all I know is how frequently this seems to happen. It seems that nobody gets hit in the "groin", as many tend to call it, on a basketball court more than me. Opponents have hit me in games. Teammates have hit me in practice. Teammates, believe it or not, have even got me during games against other opponents. Everybody but the referee and the mascot have got me at some point or another (and if you see me retiring early, it'll probably be because one of the aforementioned finally got me). The amazing thing is that nobody has got me twice, with the exception of David, who seems to get me all the time. I don't know if its his arm length or what, but he sure does seem to have a knack at crippling me in that way. Everyone else in the league is pretty random. Whoever gets me gets me. I'm going to have to be the first NBA player to regularly wear a cup if this continues to happen.
When not writing in pain, people tell me I look pretty nimble on the basketball court. One reporter called me the Man of Many Moves, saying I had the best footwork of any NBA big man. He then asked if this was because I was a good dancer. I hated to disillusion the man, but I actually suck at dancing. I don't know why I can't, I just know that I can't. In basketball, I learned progression of moves just by doing different things. He said dancing was the same thin, but I sure don't see it that way.
Then I started to think of what the reporter had asked. I enjoyed the Man of Many Moves name, which he had administered to me. However, I feel this reporter may have been a little remiss. I hate to tell him, but I am no big man. This is merely where they believe I should play because I am tall. I am really a point guard; Im just a little bigger than everyone else is.
I'm sure that right now you are all thinking that I must be crazy. But, I assure you, I am normal, I told you I just am always thinking, sometimes about really crazy random things. But in all seriousness, it really should be difficult for me to be too strange. After all, a great family raised me. I had great friends, support and teaching at Wake forest. I came to a first-class organization in the Spurs family. My best friend from college, Marc Scott, is my business manager, handling my day-to-day operations. And my agent is an attorney by the name of Lon Babby, who also represents players such as Grant Hill and Nikki McCray. I have the loving support of my girlfriend who still attends Wake Forest and is nearing graduation. She helps me cope with the everyday rigors of being an NBA player.
I'm surrounded by nothing but great people. Ive been blessed with that, so really, I've got no choice but to be an all-around good person.
At this point, if I were to psychoanalyze myself, I'd have to say I am a clown, cleverly disguised as a regular person. I enjoy jokes, smiling, and making people smile. I may be a little different, but that's OK, who wants to be normal anyway?
In fact, its this "different" nature that will probably fuel my next endeavor, a clothing line bearing a new style for the new millenium. Its called Ultimate Rejects wear. Back at Wake Forest, I had a penchant (and still do to this day) of cutting off the sleeves of all my T-shirts and wearing my shorts backwards. I guess Ive always wanted to be an original. One of my former coaches in college, Jerry Wainwright, came up with the name. One day at Wake, we were just messing around, cutting my sleeves off everything when he came up with this brilliant idea. He thought we should start a line of clothes where you don't really know what youre gonna get when you buy it. You know a clothing line with surprise blemishes. You might, for instance, buy a pair of pants, and have one long leg and one short leg. Or you might buy another pair that turned pink after you washed it one time. Perhaps another time, you would notice nothing wrong with your pants until you took them off and discovered it dyed your skin purple.
We will have Ultimate Rejects wear in finer clothing stores any day now. We're still waiting for a patent to come through on our SuperShrinker solution that will actually shrink the clothes down eight sizes so that youre only able to wear them once. It might not be user-friendly, but at least it'll keep you coming back for more.
You see, in order to overcome my dull image, I've figured out that Ive got to start doing everything the way everybody else does. You know, "Be Like Mike" as our culture says. Michael Jordan rules our sports universe, so Ive to start adapting, so everyone can see just how exciting and eccentric I can be. Now do you see where I'm coming from? Michael has a clothing line (Brand Jordan), thus I will have a clothing line (Ultimate Rejects, maybe Nike will buy into it also). I'm still working on a special shoe (Another hint to Nike), aromatic cologne and a restaurant bearing my name, believe me I'm trying (OK, I'm not trying hardOK, not at all, but maybe one day).
All right, time's up. Now you know who I am or maybe you don't, you figure it out.
For a hardcopy of this article, pickup March 1999 issue of Sport Magazine.