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LETTERS: Tim Duncan goes out with class, not fanfare

Spurs beat Grizzlies and improve to 37-0 in San Antonio, tying NBA record for best home start
San Antonio forward Tim Duncan (21), seen with Spurs teammate LaMarcus Aldridge in March, had career success comparable to Kobe Bryant’s, but on a much quieter level.
(Darren Abate / Associated Press)

Tim Duncan retires after 19 NBA seasons, with arguably more impressive records than Kobe Bryant. Just one of them: Every season with the Spurs his teams won better than 60% of their games.

Most impressive, he retired with an appreciative and dignified message, not an egocentric celebration, like Bryant, who led his team to the worst record in franchise history.

Vic Gainer

Palm Springs

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If you really think about it, the decision is clear-cut. Duncan was better in every respect:

Duncan won as many championships as Kobe with less of a supporting cast.

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Duncan was better at his position than any other to this day.

Duncan was all about TEAM. Kobe was all about ME

Duncan’s nickname was “The Big Fundamental."  Kobe’s was "Black Mamba.”

Duncan never pushed a player or coach out of the organization. Never gave the owner an ultimatum.

Duncan never wanted the fanfare, just championships.

Duncan didn’t cause problems off the court (i.e., Kobe in Colorado, Kobe and Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe and Mike D’Antoni).

Duncan took smaller compensation in order to improve team. Kobe did the opposite the last two years.

Kobe needed a “going-away party” from every city he visited. Duncan, just went away.

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In the last seasons of Duncan and Kobe, Kobe shot the ball at an alarming rate with so many misses. Duncan passed.

Lakers missed the playoffs. Spurs made the playoffs.

If I had to build a team around one individual, I would take Duncan over Kobe all day long.

Mark A.Mozilo

Pasadena

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It will be sad not to see Tim Duncan on an NBA court again.  Besides being possibly the greatest power forward of all time, he also brought some much-needed class into the league.  He was a championship player, a great teammate, and a shining example of what a professional athlete should be.  Although he never played for a Los Angeles team, he was appreciated by everyone here who knows something about basketball. 

Charles Reilly

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Manhattan Beach

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Thanks Tim Duncan for some of the best basketball I was honored to watch. 

Thanks baseball for honoring Tony Gwynn and Rod Carew and naming batting titles after them. Best pure hitters I have ever seen.

What these three guys had was humility and class. No egos, no front-page bad press, they just went out and did their job. Sports could use some more Duncans, Carews, and Gwynns.

Bob Martinez

Glendale

Let the second-guessing of the Dodgers continue

After reading Andy McCullough’s article in Tuesday’s paper, I can see the handwriting on the wall for us Dodger fans: No more Kenley Jansen after this year.  Why the Dodgers didn’t make more of an effort to sign him to a long-term contract before the club control ran out (a la Clayton Kershaw) is a mystery. Couple that with the aborted attempt to bring in Aroldis Chapman as his replacement and you have another homegrown player about to leave in free agency while we get nothing in return.  But wait, I’m sure Andrew Friedman and his fellow analytic gurus can fill the void just like they have after letting Zack Greinke leave town.  The 1988 highlights are getting grainier by the day.

Ken Blake

Brea

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Can you imagine if the Dodgers had re-signed Zack Greinke? Right now they would have two aces on the disabled list being paid $70 million. Hopefully, Kershaw will be back (no pun intended) shortly, but Greinke appears to have chronic injuries that could keep him out longer. Perhaps Andrew Friedman was still feeling the effects of  Chad Billingsley’s contract when he decided not to sign Greinke to a six-year contract.

Jeff Hershow

Woodland Hills

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According to The Times, Howie Kendrick has been “pushed"  to the outfield because of “injuries to outfielders Yasiel Puig, Scott Van Slyke, and Joc Pederson, and Carl Crawford’s early June release."  Once again, Andre Ethier is the forgotten man.  He has been a dependable outfield presence for years, but didn’t even warrant a mention.  I guess consistent production and play has little value in the grand scheme of things.

Harris J. Levey

Venice

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As the Dodgers get ready for the second half, I feel Dave Roberts should make two changes in the starting lineup. The lack of scoring runs in bunches and failing to hit with runners in scoring position seems to be due to not having the right players batting when the opportunity arises. The “book” says that your best hitter bats third, and that should be Corey Seager. The “home run hitter” bats fourth, and that should be Justin Turner. Adrian Gonzalez should be batting fifth, not fourth, since he has only seven home runs. A manager who goes strictly by the book with his pitchers should do the same with his hitters.

Jeff Hershow

Woodland Hills

Don’t forget Stern’s role in Lakers’ failures 

In response to all your negative articles, comments and letters concerning the Lakers and Buss family: You’ve got it all wrong. This is the first year and chance the Lakers have a fair chance to repair the damage former NBA Commissioner David Stern did to them. I ask you this, if Chris Paul was on this team today, like he should have been, how many of the negatives would you have been able to print about the Buss kids? I say almost none!

John Harris

Bishop

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Now that Kobe Bryant has retired, the draft is done and the Lakers have again whiffed in free agency, can we please get to the important business of commissioning a statue of Elgin Baylor to reside in front of the Staples Center?

This oversight has gone on long enough.

Axel Hubert

Los Angeles

Maybe this team could mentor the Lakers

There is a team that plays at Staples Center with multiple championship banners. It has had former Lakers as head coaches, had the late Jerry Buss as its owner, and has had a plethora of superstars over the years. Yes, it is the Los Angeles Sparks. This team is actually a pleasure to watch as they play a team-oriented game and don’t rely on the individual talents of just one player. Furthermore, they don’t have players take videos of other team members, causing rifts on the team. Perhaps their big brothers, the Lakers, can learn a thing or two from them and take a step in returning to prominence. 

Craig London

Encino

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