Tim Duncan Says He Doesn't Plan on Retiring Following NBA Finals Loss to Heat

Tim KeeneyContributor IJune 21, 2013

Despite a gut-wrenching loss to the Miami Heat in Game 7 of the NBA Finals Thursday night, Tim Duncan isn't ready to call it quits. 

At least that's what he said in the postgame press conference:

I would hope not. 

Duncan may be 37 years old, and he may have nearly 50,000 minutes logged on his Hall of Fame career, but the man proved time and time again this year that he can still play at an extremely high level. 

Averaging the most minutes since the 2009-10 season (30.1), Timothy Theodore Duncan tallied 17.8 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.7 blocks per contest. He shot an efficient 50.2 percent from the field and a career-high 81.7 percent from the line. 

On a per-minute basis, he averaged the most points of his career since 2007 and the most rebounds since 2008. Partly thanks to Gregg Popovich's lineup management, the 14-time All-Star didn't wear down as the season progressed, either. 

March (20.8 points, 11.6 rebounds and 2.8 blocks) and April (19.3, 8.9 and 2.4) were arguably his best months of the season, and in the year's final two games, he looked like a spry 25-year-old. In Game 6 against the Heat, the Big Fundamental poured in 30 points and 17 rebounds, carrying the Spurs with a truly vintage performance. But his team faltered down the stretch. 

On Thursday, he once again led the team with 24, 12 and four steals. Once again, it wasn't enough. 

Duncan has nothing left to prove in his career. He has won four NBA titles, three NBA Finals MVPs and two NBA MVP awards. After yet another brilliant season, no one would blame him if he wanted to walk away.

Luckily for those of us who enjoy watching beautifully-played basketball, it doesn't appear those are his plans.

Duncan has two years (the second being a player option) left on his contract, and most will be hoping he is around for at least that much longer.