Praise for the newly retired NBA legend Tim Duncan includes a lot about how Duncan wasn’t like many other NBA greats. Stories lionizing Duncan tell how he didn’t overdo the advertising, was just all about basketball — the narrative is about how Duncan was somehow more pure. (Fans respecting this aspect of Timmy are usually — ironically — wearing expensive Nikes.)
But it wasn’t quite true — this part of the Duncan legend. Duncan knew his role as an entertainer and he played it well — especially on the court but off it too. His best work, however, didn’t come for big international brands like Adidas and Nike, but — fittingly perhaps — for the local supermarket. And like everything else about Duncan, it was a team game. Here’s a Nike spot he did with Kevin Garnett (even here Duncan is the guy with the big team!), and then SEVEN spots for HEB with his fellow Spurs. He’s good, that Timmy.
Tony Parker: Name? Tim Duncan: Tim.