As was expected, today there is much talk about the sixth game of the series of the NBA finals that was played last night between the Spurs and the Heat. Everyone has their own opinions about the officiating which was questionable at best, however that is not the topic of the blog today. Instead, I just had to write about one specific player. His name is Tim Duncan and let's just be honest ; this guy is a breath of fresh air.

He is a thirty-seven year old veteran of the game, one of the best players playing at the highest level of basketball yet here is the great part - you would never know it. Absent from his whole demeanor is pride, arrogance, brashness. He simply is out there playing the game that he loves. He does it with humility and grace , something that is almost non-existent in professional sports.

Last night's game was a thriller going down to the final seconds and I was wholeheartedly rooting for the Spurs as were several others that I know. What is funny about that is none of us grew up in San Antonio, none of us have been Spurs fans our whole lives, yet we were pulling with everything within us for them to win. Why is that? For me, it is for two reasons. First, I stopped being a Lebron fan when he left his hometown, his boyhood town, his fans that had followed him since high school for Miami. To me, that move proved that his personal gain of a Championship ring was most important to him, no matter who he played for. Many call it a smart move, a great decision financially and and was his best chance of being on a winning what. The way that it hit me was to win a Championship because a franchise puts together three superstars, it just starts to smack more of a business and not the innocence of loyalty. Everyone who knows anything about pro sports says it is just that...a business so perhaps many applaud his decision to leave Cleveland. I don't. 

The second reason that I was cheering on the edge of my seat for the Spurs is none other than Tim Duncan. In a few short years this guy will be forty years old and he is out there playing his heart out like a kid....humbly. That is the key; he plays with power and has incredible talent yet he is not obnoxious in the slightest way. His reaction to fouls called on him is to simply and quietly look down and to press on. You will see him begin running again and getting back to business if play resumes. I have watched him for years and just have never seen him in anyone's face, never seen him mouthing off, never seen him wrapped up in himself. To him, it seems to always be about the team, never about Tim Duncan. He is just a quiet, classy example and if my kids were still small , he would be the guy I would be telling them to watch. He is the guy that I would want them to emulate.

 Sports do not build character, sports reveal character. I read this great truth many years ago and it is spot on. For those reading this blog right now who do not know me well, you may be thinking that I also am a quiet natured person who shows only humility where sports are concerned. Think again. I am almost the polar opposite of a Tim Duncan and I am not proud to say that. I want to yell, and point out every flaw of every member of the team that I am rooting against. Pointing out every bad call by the officials is something that I am happy to grumble about and I love going back and forth ribbing friends who are cheering for the opposite team. So please understand...I am not pointing to Tim Duncan because my personality resembles anything close to his as it certainly does not. We don't have to mirror someone however to clearly understand what is best and who stands out in terms of character, do we ? And therein lies the lesson for all spectators of any sport...which is this -yes, winning is of great importance, but still...who do you want your kids to act like when they are out on that court ?

It is a thought provoking question and for me an easy one. Without hesitation, I lift my arm and point squarely at one of the oldest players in the game...Tim Duncan. I hope he wins in game seven but even if he doesn't, he is the real champion of the game when measuring what is truly important in life.