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NBA: Spurs’ Duncan retires

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LOS ANGELES (AFP) – San Antonio Spurs star power forward Tim Duncan on Monday announced his retirement after 19 seasons in the NBA, ending a glittering career that included five National Basketball Association championships and 15 All-Star Game appearances.

The 40-year-old Duncan, who was originally selected by the Spurs as the first overall pick in the 1997 NBA draft, spent his entire career with the team. They reached the playoffs in every one of his 19 seasons.

“Nineteen seasons. Five rings. One team. #ThankYouTD,’’ the Spurs tweeted.

Duncan, together with Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, formed one of the most successful trios in NBA history. They hold the league record for regular season wins (575) and postseason wins (126), according to the team.

Duncan and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich also formed a dynamic duo, accounting for the most wins ever by a player-coach duo at 1,001.

Duncan, a three-time NBA Finals MVP and a two-time regular season MVP, is widely regarded as one of the best power forwards ever to play the game.

Duncan led San Antonio to titles in 1999, 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2014. The Spurs posted a 1,072-438 regular-season record since drafting Duncan – the best 19-year run in league history.

He averaged 19 points and 10.8 rebounds per game during his career. But last season’s campaign was disrupted by a knee injury and he played in only 61 games.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver described Duncan as the ‘’ultimate teammate.’’

“Tim Duncan is one of the most dominant players in NBA history,’’ Silver said.