Tim Duncan is keeping a 20-year Spurs tradition even in retirement

Troy Taormina/Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Imagine you're a member of this year's San Antonio Spurs team. Because you know coach Gregg Popovich will yell at you and make you read Tolstoy if you cut corners, you're in the gym on your off day, working on your shot or watching some video. Before you know it, the night is gone, and all the lights in the facility seem to be off. You gather your things and move for the exits, only to hear a repetitive “thud” coming from down the hall. A single beam of light trickles out from a closed door.

Curious about which teammate might be challenging you to a game of “Office Chicken,” you throw the door open, only to be greeted by the officially-retired-but-always-around Tim Duncan:

Yep — Tim Duncan is the last to leave the gym as he has been for 20 years.

Can you imagine what that does for a franchise? One of the greatest players ever can do anything he wants these days. He could go build pools in his hometown. He could buy an auto racing team and do the work on the cars himself in his garages. But Duncan chooses to keep coming to practice — to hang out with Coach Popovich and teach the next generation of Spurs greats.

The typical internet response is to tell Duncan to go home and enjoy his retirement. You know what, though? Duncan is home.

Need more Duncan? Check out these text messages that (probably) took place between the future Hall of Famer and Pop.