Rarely a man — or woman — walks to the beat of their own drum.
That rule, old saying, sound bite or whatever you want to call it, goes out the door if you’re referring to Tim Duncan; he charts his own path, and that’s the truth Ruth. In fact, the former San Antonio Spurs power forward sticks to his hard-wired persona, even if the President of the United States sends him a special invite.
According to an SI report, Duncan (Timmy, if you’re his pal, Tony Parker) recently declined an invitation from Barack Obama to attend the Rio Olympics. No, it wasn’t just a ticket hookup or White House gift for him to get a seat or viewing spot at the venue. Instead, the offer was a ride-a-long, sort of like a BFF session with the POTUS.
— Dime Magazine (@DimeMag) August 13, 2016
Retired NBA journeyman, Bruce Bowen, who played with the Spurs for eight seasons, is reporting from Rio as part of his role as a commentator with the NBA. Bowen spoke to Sports Illustrated about Duncan’s refusing Obama’s Olympics invite — an instant legend in pop culture.
“Tim, his legacy is always going to be more of the foundation guy in San Antonio and a guy that wasn’t ever concerned with the limelight. but more importantly concerned with others, making sure that they could really reach the most out of their potential.”
“It’s not often you find individuals like that. And it’s funny that he was offered an opportunity to fly here with the President of the United States, and he discussed it with me and I’m like, ‘You’re going, right?’ He was like, ‘You know I’m not about that stuff.’ Even that moment where you’d say, ‘I sure would like to be a part of that,’ it doesn’t happen with Tim because he’s not concerned with that stuff.”
Bowen was not only a teammate of the future NBA Hall of Fame player; they two were close friends. Without question, Bowen’s testimony about Tim’s personality is unimpeachable.
Duncan’s introverted behavior is well documented. In May, Bowen interviewed the 19-year veteran about his career with one team in the league and his — fun-fact — love of cars. Who knew the big man loves hot rods and has a penchant for restoring vintage cars?
Tim Duncan sits down with Bruce Bowen to discuss his legendary career. WATCH: https://t.co/TNmYMi9axo pic.twitter.com/mJp8gaELiq
— ESPN (@espn) May 13, 2016
As the Daily Mail reported, in January of 2015, the World Champion Spurs, who won the Finals the year before, took part in a meet-and-greet with the president. It’s part of a tradition; major league teams meet with the sitting president for a photo-op at the White House.
Anyhow, every member of the team, coaches included, wore neckties as part of the formal dress attire. However, Duncan pulled off a classic Duncan move by showing up without a necktie.
Tim Duncan Pulled the Most Tim Duncan Move of All Timehttps://t.co/MkbWh6IvkM
— Sneaker Pics (@SneakerPics23) August 15, 2016
At a glance, it appeared that Duncan was being disrespectful of authority or showing off his disdain for Washington politicians. However, Duncan abhors dress codes. Apparently, the sour taste goes way back to 2005 when the NBA introduced a formal dress code for players who are present at games and not in uniform (usually due to an injury or coaches decision).
When a head of state extends an invitation to you, unless you’re bedridden, at the hospital for the birth of a child or at a funeral, you show up; your RSVP is always “yes.” Think about it: you just don’t turn down an invite to Buckingham Palace if Queen Elizabeth invites you or if the leader of the Free World summons you — that is, unless you’re Tim Duncan.
In the general scheme of things, Duncan’s decline of the invitation is on par about his personality as a private and humble player who likes to keep things on the down low. Besides, a 7-footer will have a time being incognito in Rio, as KEN5 suggested
So now, Obama has more than John Boehner and the Republicans to add to his list of refusals.
[Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images]