We've heard it every year since 2007, "the Spurs are too old" yet every May, there they are, legit contenders in the Western Conference. How do they do it year in and year out? For one, they have the best coach in the world in Gregg Popovich. Another huge reason is that Tim Duncan seems to have found the Fountain of Youth.
Although Duncan will be 38 this April, he's still averaging a double double (15 ppg, 10 rpg) and probably should have been selected to the All-star game. He's coming off one of his best seasons ever in 2012-2013 where he made NBA All 1st Team and, if it weren't for a man named Ray Allen, he'd have one for the thumb. While others from his era are clearly declining (Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett) how does Tim Duncan keep playing at an elite level? There are a couple of keys to his longevity and sustainability over the years.
One of the ways he's able to keep producing the numbers he does is his coach, Gregg Popovich. Pop has been a genius when it comes to conserving Tim during the regular season, and Duncan is fine with this because they share the same goal, another championship. Now he does have a luxury others don't that allows him to play less minutes, his name is Tony Parker. Guys like Kobe Bryant literally have to play the whole game to win because they have no one else around them (although I don't know how much complaining you can do when you just signed a 2 year $48 million contract). Limited minutes means a healthier Tim Duncan come playoff time and a longer career in general.
Another way Timmy keeps seeing success in his later years is his diet and workout routine. A few years ago Duncan changed his entire regiment, from what he ate to the way he trained. He lost 15 pounds in the 2012 off season. With his history of knee problems, clearly less weight on his knees is a must to keep playing in the NBA.
Duncan, like any great big man, has a solid post game. I've been on the record numerous times saying the key to a longer career is the ability to play with your back to the basket. When the speed and explosiveness isn't there anymore, you can still score in the post. We see it night in and night out, Duncan gets the ball in the post, makes a few pump fakes, goes up and under the defender and either makes the basket of gets to the charity stripe.
Tim Duncan will go down as the greatest Power Forward in history when he retires, whenever that happens. Father Time is, and always will be, undefeated, but for now it looks like Timmy has the secret to staying ageless.