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Tim Duncan Didn't Know He Could Stay At Home During Pre-Season Training Until Steve Kerr And Danny Ferry Told Him In 2003: "Tim You're The MVP Of The League. You Can Do Whatever You Want."

Tim Duncan Didn't Know He Could Stay At Home During Pre-Season Training Till Steve Kerr And Danny Ferry Told Him In 2003: "Tim You're The MVP Of The League. You Can Do Whatever You Want."

Tim Duncan was known for two things above all else, his humility and ability to put his ego aside for the team, something that surprised even his opponents. One of the undisputed greatest players of all time, the best power forward ever, Duncan took pride in being a player that was extremely coachable and ready to improve. There are many stories of TD listening to what Coach Pop and the Spurs organization had to tell him, but one from the prime of his youth stands out. 

Duncan became back-to-back MVP of the league in 2002 and 2003, winning his 2nd championship in the latter year. It's safe to say that with the cracks starting to show within the Lakers, Duncan and his Spurs usurped them as the team to beat by the time 2003 had rolled around. However, during pre-season training camp in 2003, Duncan came in for the shock of his life when he found out that he wasn't obliged to stay at the team hotel with the younger players. 

Team veterans Danny Ferry and Stever Kerr, who themselves were coming to training camp from their own homes, broke the news to Duncan as he saw them while coming out of the bus, making for quite the hilarious exchange (via Sports Illustrated Vault). 

"In the fall of 2003, during the Spurs' preseason training camp, most of the players stayed at a local hotel at the team's behest. Ferry and Steve Kerr, however, decided to commute from their homes. Both were nearing the end of their careers and had kids. They figured the hotel was intended for the younger players, to keep them in line.

"On the third day of camp, Ferry and Kerr pulled up to the practice facility just as the team bus arrived from the hotel. A succession of rookies exited the bus. At the rear was Duncan, six years in the league already. He took one look at Kerr and Ferry. 'Wait a second, are you guys staying at home?' Duncan asked, incredulous.

"'Yup,' said Kerr.

"Duncan's eyes got wider. 'You mean you can do that?'

"Ferry stared back at him. 'Tim, you're the league MVP. You can do whatever you want.'

This story is quintessentially Duncan, not even realizing the pull he has as the best player in the league and just following team orders without thinking about it. His attitude may be a bit funny to think about in this context, but it's what helped the Spurs win 5 NBA championships as much as Tim Duncan's amazing basketball abilities did.