The sight of Tim Duncan sitting on the bench during deciding moments of the Spurs-Warriors game Thursday sent me scrambling to the computer. The situation had to be unprecedented. When in playoff history has a player of Duncan’s stature sat down with the game on the line? Did that happen to Michael, Magic or Larry? What about Wilt or Russell? Kareem? Shaq? Kobe?
I didn’t even make it halfway when I stopped and started giggling. Michael Jordan sitting for the last 4:28? Magic Johnson? Those two insanely competitive players? Right. Such a thing is why the phrase “when pigs fly” was invented.
Hell, in 1961-62, Wilt Chamberlain averaged 48.5 minutes per game during the season. He sat on the bench for only eight minutes all year. So the chances of sitting four straight minutes in a playoff game are about the same as Lil Wayne singing opera.
But over the last few years, as intellect-based system of Gregg Popovich has continued to succeed, several sayings have developed in the NBA:
“Only in San Antonio.”
“Only Pop could do that.”