Why Karl Malone might be the greatest power forward ever
Editorial note: The following is an almost entirely a work of fiction centered around the first two quotes, which in fact happened. Tim Duncan is, in reality, the greatest power forward to ever play the game.
A little over an hour before the San Antonio Spurs were set to take on the Utah Jazz in game one of their opening playoff round, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich turned what typically is a mundane media scrum into anything but.
The rumors had swirled around the organization for some time, and in this crazy, condensed season the buildup was finally about to boil over.
It began with the same tired question, one which reporters had asked at multiple stops to no avail. This time, however, Popovich answered with a response that would shake the basketball world to its roots.
“Do you know who you’re going to start at the five tonight,” ask San Antonio Express-News NBA beat writer Mike Monroe.
Without skipping a beat, Popovich took a quick sip from his Rock & Hammer limited release 2004 pinot noir and proceeded to, for all intents and purposes, throw his franchise cornerstone under a bus.
“Tim Duncan, like we have for 15 years,” replied Popovich.
The moment was unexpected, and perhaps even a little surreal. Finally confirmation: Tim Duncan is a center, and has been for quite some time.
Stunned, a million questions ran through the minds of the medium scrum, almost faster than such thoughts could be processed.
And as if right on cue, in some terrible, wonderful awkward moment came Duncan himself.
“What are we worried about today, Pop?”
“We’re worried about how our center is going to match up with Al Jefferson,” replied Popovich.
That’s right,” Duncan stated with an oblivious smile, or at least what passes for a smile across his stone faced visage.
“That’s what I was just telling them.”
And like that Popovich was off before the reporters and radio talk show hosts could recover, leaving Duncan before the vultures.
“What do you have to say regarding the rumors about you playing center,” the reporters asked in unison.
“It’s not true. You tell me,” an amused Duncan said. “You guys are the ones with all your ‘sources’.”
“But Popovich just said you’ve been playing center for the past 15 years.”
“This interview is over.”
Tim Duncan is a center. The source is management itself.