the longtime San Francisco Giants s

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SAN ANTONIO -- Spurs power forward Tim Duncan spoke for the first time on Wednesday since announcing his retirement two days prior, expounding upon his 19-year NBA career and explaining why he made the decision to leave the game.I can still do this. I could probably still play, Duncan said in a wide-ranging interview with ViVid Streaming. But when its time, its time. Its time. I started not enjoying myself. It wasnt fun at times. And I always said when that point comes when its not fun anymore then Im done.As hoops fans all over the country spent Monday and Tuesday watching highlights and tributes to Duncan among the various sports television outlets, the power forward spent the day of his retirement watching the Discovery Channel. Duncans reaction seemed typical of the man of few words, who spent an entire career leading by example, while spearheading the?San Antonios current culture of?selflessness.In the days since announcing his retirement, Duncan said he received an outpouring of support from friends and family, as well as from coaches and executives around the NBA. Included among the well-wishers was?Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who despite playing with Michael Jordan on the Chicago Bulls, once called the power forward the greatest teammate he ever has played with.He actually sent me a message and said something along those lines, said Duncan, who won a pair of NBA titles alongside Kerr during Kerrs two stints with the Spurs. And again, Ive gotten some incredible notes, messages, from so many different people that are honestly blowing me away. I didnt expect all of this; didnt expect the reaction I got. But its been amazing. Ive spent the last two days trying to respond to everybody and trying to get back to everybody to make sure Im thankful for their messages, their words. I did actually get a personal note from Steve.Spurs coach Gregg Popovich on Tuesday delivered an emotional goodbye to Duncan during a 15-minute meeting with local reporters. Duncan watched the footage of Popovichs interview on Tuesday and admitted, I about lost it on that one.Duncan also expressed appreciation for his near-universal standing as one of the NBAs all-time greats -- not just arguably the greatest power forward.I dont know how their ranking goes or anything else, and I tell people I dont really care how the rankings go. Im in the conversation, Duncan said. Im OK with that. Thats above and beyond anything I ever thought I would be. So Im in the conversation. I dont care where you rank me or what you say it is or how you want to say things go. Im in the conversation. That in itself is an honor.Having won five NBA titles with the Spurs, along with earning two NBA MVP awards in addition to making 15 All-Star Game appearances, Duncan, 40, played his final game on May 12 in the teams Game 6 loss to the?Oklahoma City Thunder?in the Western Conference semifinals.In what would be Duncans final NBA appearance, he displayed flashes of his previous All-Star form in scoring 19 points to go with five rebounds and one block in 34 minutes. Just before the fourth quarter with the Spurs trailing, Duncan asked Popovich if he could remain in the game for the final 12 minutes.As the game concluded and the confetti fell from the rafters, Duncan walked off the court in Oklahoma City waving to the crowd with one finger pointed toward the roof.Over the years, Duncan took less money in contracts from the Spurs to give the organization more ammunition to field successful teams; he explained on Wednesday that the money had not ever been a deal for me.I took a little bit less money at certain points [so] that we could stay competitive, so that we could bring players in, so that we could put pieces around, so that we could win championships, he said. Thats all it was about. I dont really care who was making what. Honest truth is I didnt really know from year to year what people were making. I think that was the best perspective to have.That approach led to championship results and back-to-back MVP awards for the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons.The good old days when the knees were really good, remember those days? Duncan said jokingly. At that point, I believed in what I could do. Being a competitor, I wanted it year after year after year. I remember being disappointed in the years after that, when I wasnt able to be an MVP. But thats just my competitive nature in that respect. But I believed in what I was. I didnt know that was gonna translate in ending up in five championships or anything else. But I knew that I could affect the game. I knew that I could control the game in ways. I knew how to do it.It was just about being in the right situation with the right bunch of guys and getting it done.Duncan also explained his competitive nature, which he always displayed in a stoic manner, without any hit of boisterousness.I think Ive always approached it in a different way. I think competitiveness is taken in a different way by different people, Duncan said. So Im not a yeller and a screamer, a jumper and a pusher. Im not gonna do all that stuff with my teammates or opponents. But Ive been competitive from Day 1. Whether people recognize that or not, I dont know how they cant. Im not gonna go out there and try to hurt somebody or win at all means. But if its up in the air, Im gonna try harder than you to get it done.Duncan and teammates?Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili rank as the winningest trio in NBA history in the regular season (575 wins) and postseason (126). Duncan and Popovich have combined for the most regular-season victories by any player-coach duo in NBA history (1,001). And the forward ends his career as just one of three players in league annals, along with John Stockton and Kobe Bryant, to spend 19 seasons with one franchise.Duncan said playing alongside Parker and Ginobili meant a great deal to him.We took pride in representing where we came from, took pride in being from small places, and places all around the world and being able to come together and make ourselves into a team, into a group of guys with one goal and get that done, said Duncan, who was born and raised on Saint Croix. A kid from the islands, a kid from somewhere in France, a kid from somewhere in Argentina, and we find ways to get things done. But Pop on top of that, and him having the vision to put us all together to see what we could be. You look back and thats just an amazing feat: to have all these kids from all these different places come together and be what we were.In the end, Duncan made sure to thank the San Antonio fan base for its support.Duncan is the only player in NBA history to play over 9,000 career minutes in the playoffs, and he ranks No. 1 all time in postseason double-doubles (164) and blocks (568), third in rebounds (2,859) and sixth in points (5,172). Duncan played in 251 postseason games (second all time) and averaged 20.6 points, 11.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 37.3 minutes, in addition to shooting .501 (1,975-3,939) from the field.Just thank-you. I dont think theres anything better to say than thank-you, Duncan said. Over the years, weve been blessed. Weve been great about winning games and everything else. Weve lost some big ones, lost a couple of chances at championships. But the fans here have just been so awesome in their support and their love for the team. Everybodys always shown such appreciation and love for myself and the team. We have some of the best fans in the NBA -- in sports, in general. Im so appreciative of that. People come out, people support, people love the Spurs. Thats special. Thats not everywhere. Nike Air Max Cheap Wholesale . Colin Wilson had two goals and an assist, and Mike Fisher scored a goal and helped set up two others in the Predators 6-4 victory over the Red Wings on Monday night. Cheap Nike Air Max Clearance . Brazilian national coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has confirmed that the veteran goalkeeper is set to join Toronto on loan, saying it will help him be ready for the World Cup. http://www.airmaxoutletcheap.com/ . Datsyuk will miss Tuesdays game against New Jersey and could be sidelined longer, while Cleary will likely miss at least the next three games. Its been an injury-plagued season for Datsyuk, who has suited up for just 39 games. Air Max Outlet Sale . "We have always prided ourselves on the way we play defence. Having two big pieces back is going to be a key for us moving forward for years to come," said Knighthawks head coach Mike Hasen. Cheap Nike Air Max China Wholesale . -- In one brief spurt, Brazil turned a close game into a rout and proved again it will be a strong World Cup favourite. ANAHEIM, Calif. -- While the Houston Astros are rocketing up the AL standings, the Los Angeles Angels are plummeting at roughly the same rate of speed.Tim Lincecum tried to change things Tuesday night, but both teams kept going their separate ways.Carlos Correa hit a three-run homer in the first inning, and the Astros beat Lincecum and the Angels 7-1 for their ninth win in 10 games.Correa went 3 for 4 and matched his career high with four RBI as Houston easily improved to 34-20 since May 1. The Astros also beat the Angels for the seventh straight time, their longest winning streak in the rivalrys history.We expect to win the way were playing, which is good, Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. We do have a nice little vibe about us, a little swagger. Weve got our confidence back.Scott Feldman (5-3) yielded three hits in five innings to win his first start since April 24 for the Astros. Feldman was a stopgap starter after making 16 appearances out of the bullpen over the past two months, but he kept Houston moving flawlessly forward while allowing no earned runs or walks.Ive been doing the bullpen thing, so I had to try to remember my routine for (starting), said Feldman, a starter for most of the previous eight seasons. But it was a lot of fun.Albert Pujols third-inning single drove in the only run for last-place Los Angeles (32-46), which has lost eight of nine. Before the game, general manager Billy Eppler said manager Mike Scioscias job is not in jeopardy with the Angels, whose injury-riddled starting rotation has been their biggest obstacle.Lincecum (1-2) couldnt get through the fifth inning in his third start for the Angels, yielding seven hits, four walks and five runs. It was the two-time Cy Young winners second straight bumpy outing after a promising debut.My fastball command was pretty terrible, Lincecum said. I didnt get a chance to establish the zone and work around that. I felt myself becoming one-dimensional again with my changeup and not really finding a way out. That team is a good hitting team. They puncched the balls when they were up in the zone and made me pay for it.ddddddddddddLincecum has a 6.75 ERA after three starts for the Angels, who signed the longtime San Francisco Giants star to patch that rotation. While he struck out seven Astros, he also struggled with control -- throwing just 55 strikes in 101 pitches -- and served up too many hittable balls to the Astros surging lineup.Lincecum was in trouble again after four Houston batters. He started with a four-pitch walk to George Springer, and Jose Altuve also drew a four-pitch walk before Correa put his 13th homer far over the left field fence. Correa had never faced Lincecum before that shot.I knew he was going to try to throw some changeups and get me to chase, Correa said. Its big to score early in the game.Marwin Gonzalez tripled in the fourth and scored on Carlos Gomezs double. Colby Rasmus one-out single in the fifth chased Lincecum, and Gonzalez bunted home Houstons fifth run moments later.TRAINERS ROOMAstros: Feldman filled in for RHP Lance McCullers, whose rotation turn was skipped due to a blister. McCullers expects to return Monday for his next start, although Feldman wouldnt mind another shot. I love starting, Feldman said. But I also love being on this team, and were winning a lot of games right now.Angels: 3B Yunel Escobar missed another game with a bone bruise in his left knee. Scioscia hopes he is available Friday in Boston. ... C Geovany Soto is closing in on a rehab assignment after working out in the bullpen Tuesday. He has been out since mid-May after knee surgery.UP NEXTAstros: Dallas Keuchel (4-9, 5.35 ERA) beat Kansas City last week for his first win in five June starts, but the AL Cy Young winners weird season continues.Angels: Jered Weaver (6-6, 5.24 ERA) has been solid in recent weeks, but had a rough outing against Oakland earlier in this homestand. He has a 3.26 ERA in 10 career games against Houston. 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