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21 Questions with Tim Duncan

1. What television shows do you watch when you have time?

I really like the show Alias. My wife and I have watched it without missing an episode since it started. If I am not home to watch it, I record it to watch later. Other than that we like CSI and other suspense drama stuff.

2. I've seen you with headphones on before games and last season you didn't cut your hair for a do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?

I just started this year warming up with my IPOD music. I find it easier to focus on the game and kind of tune-out all of the other pre-game activities on the court during warm-ups.

The only superstition I really have is that I wear my practice shorts backwards during practice. In college I came out of the locker room one practice and later realized my shorts were on backwards, so I didnít bother to correct them. I had a great practice, and ever since it has been a tradition for me.

As for my hair, the length is totally coincidental. I just cut it when I get a chance. No ritual for me there.

3. Hey Tim, what kinds of music do you listen to before the game to pump you up?

I listen to all types of music, but before a game I like to listen to a mixture of Rap, Alternative, and Reggae. My "game-time" playlist on my IPOD, which I wear during warm-ups, has all of these programmed and just plays them in rotation. I like the energy of these types of music, and that helps me focus on the game.

4. What is the most surprising fact about yourself that some people do not know?
I don't know, but maybe that I didn't pick up a basketball until I was 14 years old. Some people think that is unusual. Also, I love to play video games. Really there aren't too many surprising or unusual things about me.

5. The person(s) who has most influenced your life?

My mom probably influenced me the most. She passed away from Breast Cancer when I was 14 years old. She made my sister and me promise to go to college and that had a lot to do with my decision to complete all 4 years of college before entering the NBA. She was always supportive and dedicated, and I suppose she has influenced my life most.

6. Which means more--the two NBA titles or the two MVP awards?

Definitely the NBA titles. Basketball is a team sport and after you work so hard over the season as a team, what you accomplish together is so rewarding. The NBA title is by far the most meaningful to me.

7. Who had been your favorite basketball player as a child?

Magic Johnson. I loved watching him play as a kid.

8. What is your favorite book or movie and why do you like it?

The Crow. I loved comic books when I was a kid, collecting all different ones. This movie was originally a comic also, but I guess I just really like the anti-hero story line.

9. I've read that you're a gamer, so how does it feel playing "yourself" on a game like ESPN Basketball? Do you ever think, I don't do that, or say I would have made that shot.

Absolutely! I think I am a much better 3-point or free-throw shooter than they give me credit for! Overall, it's cool, but I donít think many of them really look like me.

10. Why did you pick 21 as your jersey number?

Wearing the number 21 is a tribute to my brother-in-law who taught me to play basketball when I was 14. It was his number in college.

11. Who is your favorite superhero and why?

Wolverine from X-Men. I like his particular super-hero powers. I have always been a comic book fan and enjoyed the X-Men comics as a kid.

12. Tim, I would like to get your predictions for the NFL. Who do you see playing in the superbowl this year? Who do you think will win it all?

Regretfully, I must say that I think that Philadelphia might win it. (I say regretfully because that's the favorite team of my football season nemesis Malik Rose) I wish I could say my Chicago Bears (yes, I am a Bears fan!), but they have not been doing so well lately.

13. How do you prepare in the off-season?

I normally take about 2-3 weeks off after the season ends. During that time I don't really do any training, but after that I start going back into the gym to lift weights and do some light running and shooting. In August, I am in the gym 3-4 times per week. Once September comes, it is normally a lot like the season, in the gym everyday lifting and doing running and shooting drills and playing pick-up games.

14. Tim what is your fondest memory of college not basketball related?

College was a great experience for me. I enjoyed going to other sports events like baseball and football games. Wake Forest is such a small school, that I always had friends on the field. A large group of my friends and I would go see them play, and supporting them at their games was always fun for me.

15. After winning 2 championships, what keeps you motivated to continue on and try for it the love for the game, the fans, or something else?

I love to compete and simply love the game. Just the desire for winning keeps me motivated.

16. My Granddaughter was honored by being nominated for your Character Award program...she won. Thank you, it meant a lot to her AND her parents and grandparents. My question is: When and why did you come up with this program? Was there something that acted as a catalyst...some event...something that guided you and your wife to get involved in this great community service?

When I was a kid my mom used to have us recite this nursery rhyme before bed:

Good, Better, Best. Never let it rest,
Until your Good is Better, and your Better is your Best.

I guess it just stuck, and when my wife and I wanted to start a powerful community program, we knew passing along the importance of hard work and good character to children was a perfect fit. We believe that it is our duty to give back to our community and thought a character program was perfect to give kids today the tools to succeed in life. We work in conjunction with the Spurs Foundation to try to bring that message to all K-12 students in Bexar County and reward them with cool prizes for making good character-related choices through this program. My Foundation also has been offering this program for the last two years to students in my home of St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands and in Winston-Salem, North Carolina where I went to school. By the way, thanks a lot for your kind words and support of the program!

17. Being so young you've achieved a career in the NBA and helping out the community with your foundation. What would be your next goal in life?

One day have some type of business, although not sure what right now. I don't know maybe I'd consider coaching, but I am really not sure what my next goal is. I am not too much of a planner, so right now I guess I would say my next goal is winning another championship.

18. Hi Tim, I was wondering, how did it feel to be the first person taken in the NBA draft that year?

That day was great. It is an amazing feeling to have that honor, but the days and weeks leading up to the draft were somewhat nerve-racking because you didn't really know what is going to happen on draft day or where your new home may be. There were so many things going on in my head that day, but overall it is a great memory!

19. Tim, what makes you favor the lay-in, the bank shot, and the fundamental post moves so much? They are the most effective but doesn't some razzle-dazzle psych you up?

That's just works for me. I don't do well with flash. Those shots have always come more naturally to me, and I just stick to what seems to work, although I do continue to try to find ways to improve on those fundamental shots and my execution of them.

20. What aspects of basketball do you believe are beneficial to preparing young kids/teen athletes for the future and real world?

I think that basketball and sports in general offer a lot of great lessons to kids.

Dedication: sports require practice, repetition, and hard work.

Teamwork: Basketball is a team sport and working with a team requires patience, selflessness, and compromise.

Camaraderie: Team sports introduce you to all types of personalities and helps you appreciate differences in others and build friendships. Being part of something beyond yourself is powerful.

21. If you could play one on one with any player (past or present), Who would it be?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in his prime or Wilt Chamberlain.
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