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The buzz from Las Vegas Summer League on Tim Duncan's retirement

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Cousins: Duncan a 'true definition of a professional' (0:36)

DeMarcus Cousins reveals what Tim Duncan means to him and what he'll remember most about the Spurs star. (0:36)

The biggest story at the Las Vegas Summer League on Monday wasn't a standout performance by a rookie or a veteran free-agent signing, but the retirement of San Antonio Spurs legend Tim Duncan. ESPN.com spoke to people from around the league to get their reactions to Duncan calling it a career after 19 seasons and five NBA championships.


Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks owner

"He's a legend. There were a whole lot of wars between our teams and I hated him every minute of it, but I respected him every minute, too. It's sad to see him go."


Nick Van Exel, Memphis Grizzlies assistant coach

"I had a chance to play with him one year in San Antonio. I used to kick his butt all the time because he used to have his little TV and PlayStation with him, so we would just sit up there and play video games the whole flight. He was just competitive, man. The way he competed on the court was the same way he competed with his video games. Everything was competition. He wouldn't want you to win at anything. He was just a smart person, man, a good person. He's definitely going to be missed."

Q: Do you have any standout story or memory with him?

"We all knew that he was The Man. So it's my last year playing with the Spurs, and Pop [coach Gregg Popovich] normally says who he's going to target. His victims are normally Tony, Tim and Manu. Everybody else will fall in line after that. There was one game when [opposing big man] Al Harrington had, like, 22 points in the first half. Tim normally just sits with his head down at halftime, and Pop is just going off on him, 'Are you going to play some defense? He's doing this to you. He's doing that to you.' It was extra long. He's going off and going off. Timmy is just sitting in his seat and he lifts his head up to Pop. Pop was looking dead at Timmy, and as soon as Timmy lifted his head, [Pop] winced and changed the subject completely and started talking about other stuff. It was so funny because Timmy was a big, nice giant, but if he wanted to get mean and mad, he would give you a look. He would just give you a simple look and then you knew to get in line."

Q: Is Tim going to disappear off the face of the earth? Are we ever going to see him again?

"I don't think we're ever going to see Tim Duncan again. I swear we probably won't. I think when you do see him, you better get you a picture and frame it because he's going to be a dinosaur soon. He's going to be extinct around here."


Steve Kerr, Golden State Warriors coach

Kerr played with Duncan on the Spurs from 1999-2003.

"To just walk away without a press conference is just typical Tim. Modesty. Humility. Just a phenomenal teammate that was so much fun to play with."

Kerr hesitates to call Duncan the best power forward of all time only because he hesitates to call Duncan a power forward. "I think he's a center. The only reason he's called a power forward is because he started his career playing next to David [Robinson], but once David left, Timmy was down on the block all the time. I mean, it's just semantics. ... Regardless, he's certainly a top 10 player of all time. I think you can make that argument real easily."


Mike Budenholzer, Atlanta Hawks coach

Budenholzer served as a Spurs assistant coach from 1996-2013.

"I'm just happy for Tim and all the success he had in his career and all the success to the people he brought around him. Amazing teammate, amazing player. He deserves everything he's received and even more going forward."

Budenholzer struggled to single out a favorite memory from his 16 years coaching Tim Duncan, but eventually settled on the Spurs' first title run in 1999: "There's so many. I think the way he played in the playoffs in '99 and played in the Finals. To be that good that early in your career is a pretty special memory for me."


Mike Miller, Denver Nuggets

"I don't know if you could really put it in words. All the guys, when you start seeing guys like Kobe and Tim, when they retire, first of all, it's a sad moment for guys like me who played with them and got to compete against them. But why the [players] are getting paid what they're paid, what the TV deal is now, has everything to do with those guys -- and I hope everyone that's in the league now, even though they didn't get a chance to play against them, everybody that got to watch them appreciates what they've done for the game."

When asked about being part of the Miami Heat team that handed Duncan his only NBA Finals loss in 2013, leaving his Finals record at 5-1, Miller said: "First of all, the 1 part shows how good they were as a team. When you get there, winning a championship is the hardest thing you'll ever do, and that's how good their team was, just winning championships, their culture, their structure and everything."


Beno Udrih, 12-year NBA veteran

"I was actually just thinking about the memories, and when I spent there three years [in San Antonio], my first three years in the NBA. What kind of great teammate he is. One of the greatest power forward to ever play basketball. Not a shock, but when you know somebody like that and you see how he changes the game and what he does, you're always surprised that the time came that he decided to retire. It was a sad moment, but he knows what's best for him, and I wish him nothing but the best in the future."

Q: Do you have a favorite story or memory of Tim?

"I remember my first year, my European haircut was not on point. We were doing Secret Santa and he had me, so he gave me five Sport Clips passes. He was like, 'Make sure you go get a haircut.' That was hilarious. So that was one of the stories where he was making fun of my hair. He actually gave me a nickname, with Michael Finley. It's One B. It's my name backwards. But back in Slovenia, you would just read it backwards. It would be Oneb. But he's like, 'No, no, no. In the U.S. it's One B.' That's my nickname since then. He's a great teammate. Great memories. If he wasn't on the team, I wouldn't have two championships. For that, I'm forever grateful."

Q: So he was a funny guy? Most people think he's boring, but from the stories it seems like he's pretty funny.

"Yeah, he was funny. He was very funny. He had a great sense of humor. He was always joking with everybody. He didn't have any favorites or only put some people under his wing. He made sure that everybody was taken care of. He interacted with everybody, so everybody felt like a family. With what the San Antonio Spurs organization is trying to do, he was the perfect guy to be in that organization. He embraced the whole mentality that they were doing. He was just great."

Q: What do you think of his fashion? Are you going to get him some gift cards?

"Well, I mean everybody has their own fashion. He didn't care. Especially back in the day, there were not a lot of suits and stuff like that. Fashion was a lot different, and he just stuck with it. I'm OK with however people want to dress and [what] they feel comfortable with. I'm about comfort more than looking the best. I know people are making fun of that, but believe me, if someone doesn't care, it's him. He's like, 'Listen, I'm comfortable. I'm good.'"


Rick Carlisle, Dallas Mavericks coach

"Over 19 years Tim Duncan demonstrated the simplicity of greatness as a competitor, human being and ambassador for our game. It is simply impossible to find enough accolades to describe his wide-ranging impact on NBA culture and history."


Jason Terry, 17-year NBA veteran

"Tim Duncan was a true professional. A champion. A true definition of a franchise player. The way he conducted himself on and off the court should be applauded. For my era, he set the standard for excellence."


Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz

"He's one of the best players in history. He's a great guy. I kind of know him a bit through Tony Parker. He's just a great guy on and off the court. He never tried to do too much. He never tried too much for his brand. He didn't have a farewell tour or something like that. He just played basketball and that's it."

Q: Did you model anything off your game from his game?

Gobert: "There are some things. Everybody is different. I don't want to be Tim Duncan. I want to be myself. He's one of the best post players in the game, and he was always an underrated defender. He was always at the right spot. A very tough guy. A lot of things to learn from him.


Juwan Howard, Miami Heat assistant coach

"He's one of the toughest power forwards, some would say arguably the best power forward to play in the game. To have to guard him was very challenging. We all knew about his skill set, but one thing that I don't think a lot of people give him credit for is that he had a level of toughness about him, too. And nastiness. So he was a competitor. You sort of looked at his demeanor and his facial expression because it's always the same, but that guy competed. I'll never forget some of the wars that we had in the past. I'm always going to cherish those moments. On top of that we lost a great one. I wish him well, and I hope he enjoys his time with his beautiful family."


Darvin Ham, Atlanta Hawks assistant coach

"I think his legacy is quiet greatness. Silent greatness. He just goes about his business. You look at his records and his accolades, they're right up there with the best of them. Definite first-ballot Hall of Famer. And again, just a solid rock that the staff, the front office, his teammates could depend on night in and night out, day to day, in season and out of season. Just a staple for greatness. Just solid greatness. Never braggadocious or anything like that. He'd just come to work, put his hard hat on, strap up his boots, and let his actions speak for themselves."

Q: Do you have a favorite memory of him?

"I have a worst memory. Losing the 2005 NBA championship to them in seven games [the Pistons lost to the Spurs]. Tim's always been great, always been pleasant. When we see each other, we'll embrace, hug and talk for a few minutes. He's been a pleasure to watch, and whenever I'm around him, a pleasure to be around. He'll be missed."


Taurean Prince, Atlanta Hawks

Prince played his high school basketball in San Antonio.

"He did a lot for our city, brought a lot of good things to our city, championships. Not only him, Tony Parker, [Manu] Ginobili, Malik Rose, who's here with us [as a summer league coach], Bruce Bowen, all those guys who've done things for our city. Timmy was just that cherry on top. It was just a great thing to witness growing up."

Jovan Buha, Tim MacMahon, Adam Reisinger and Calvin Watkins contributed to this report.