San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan Almost Joined Orlando Magic Says Teammate

Tim Duncan 2016 NBA Playoffs

The "Big Fundamental" is considered by many to be the best power forward of all time (Getty)

Orlando Magic were an intrigue to the NBA in 2000 when Tracy McGrady and Grant Hill created a superteam slated to rule the NBA’s Eastern Conference.

Grant Hill started at point guard, Darrell Armstrong slid to the two-guard with McGrady staring at the 3, with Drew Gooden and John Amaechi at the 4 and 5, respectively.

The team coached by Doc Rivers was slated even had Mike Miller coming off the bench!

The biggest intrigue in the whole operation was the talk that Tim Duncan was coming to Orlando in the 2000 NBA free agency craze.

One can’t help but wonder: ‘What If?’

“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.”

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich thought Duncan going to Orlando was a real possibility though!

“It was a nerve-wrecking time,” Popovich admitted in an interview. (H/T CBS Sports’ Matt Moore)

“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.”

Former Orlando Magic guard Darrell Armstrong tells a different story on Scoop B Radio.

“Tim wasn’t going nowhere,” he told me.

“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 some Championships. So I mean, no he wasn’t going anywhere. Sometimes you call the guys when free agency starts and you call them and talk to guys and they wanted me to call and I was sitting there like I am not you shouldn’t even call this guy he isn’t leaving.”

“It was an interesting time,” Grant Hill told me.

“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.”


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