San Anonio Spurs legend, Tim Duncan almost signed with the Orlando Magic back in 2000.
Do you realize how big that would have been if he did?
Had it happened, the San Antonio Spurs legend would have joined a Big 3 that included Tracy McGrady, himself and Grant Hill.
“Tim and I had the same agent, so that was real,” Grant Hill told me.
“I don’t know if getting Tim and Tracy was possible or fully discussed or not, I can’t remember. He was feeling that way about coming to Orlando. Obviously that changed once he got back to San Antonio.”
Makes sense. Duncan flirted with joining the Magic as a free agent in 2000. It came down to two teams, one being Orlando and the other being San Antonio. The Spurs legend discussed this subject in an article on NBA.com back in 2010:
“I came close to leaving,” said Duncan.
“It was a nerve-wrecking time,” (Gregg) Popovich admitted.
“It was hell. You get close to a player and you don’t want to see him leave. I never let myself believe he was going to stay. I was just getting myself prepared, for sanity reasons. It’s no fun.
“It also seems like it takes forever to resolve. That’s the worst part of it. We made our pitch to him and let him be, let him make up his own mind.”
While that sounds good, others have a different account of that story, like Darrell Armstrong.
“Man, Tim wasn’t going nowhere,” Armstrong told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“I mean where Tim played at and finished at, that was where Tim was going to be. Tim wasn’t going to go nowhere. We all love to entertain and see who is going to be out there. I don’t even believe he even thought about leaving San Antonio, especially after winning that first championship.”
Armstrong, a retired 15-year NBA veteran who is now an assistant coach with the Dallas Mavericks says that the Magic wanted him to recruit and talk to Duncan over the phone.
But he never did because he didn’t think it would make a difference.
“I just knew he wasn’t going anywhere,” Armstrong told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“Sometimes you call the guys when free agency starts, and you call them and talk to guys, and they [Orlando] wanted me to call him and I was sitting there like, ‘I am not calling him, you shouldn’t even call this guy, he isn’t leaving.”
It didn’t happen.
“It was an interesting time,” Grant Hill recounted.
“I think it was his third year in the NBA, so we didn’t think of him how we think of him now. It was a big decision, he obviously made the right decision and had a storybook career. It could’ve been special had we come together, but it’s a lot of what ifs.”