In a league that is as ego-driven as the NBA, Tim Duncan separates himself from the rest, by avoiding the spotlight at all costs. Despite being a future legend, with five championships, he is about as humble as they get. He avoids being placed in many advertisements, unlike LeBron James and Kevin Durant. He refuses to be a part of the media spotlight, unless he is forced to be. However, when Tim Duncan was offered to appear in one of his favorite comics, The Punisher, he could not say no.
It is not news that Duncan is a comic fan. After all, he has sported specialty design knee braces, featuring Deadpool and, of course, The Punisher in the designs, as currently as the recent 2014 playoffs. As such, it was announced Sept. 16 through BlackJack Speed Shop, the car customization shop owned by the Big Fundamental, that he will have a sketched version of himself in a special edition of The Punisher.
In a teaser panel of the comic, Duncan’s character is not much different than the real-life version. In the visual, Duncan is drawn to resemble his tall, lanky body type. Additionally, the character reflects his other hobby of car customization, as he acts as a car mechanic. As the mechanic, he is pictured with a name tag labeled as Tim, while wearing one of his championship rings, as he hands off a key to the gun-obsessed vigilante, Punisher.
Duncan’s contribution to The Punisher goes beyond the pages of the comic. In association with Marvel Comics, Duncan’s BlackJack Shop will be creating a custom replica of the vehicle featured in the special edition. To further showcase Duncan’s dedication to the city of San Antonio, once the vehicle is complete, it will be auctioned off in an event where a San Antonio charity will receive all the proceeds.
While Duncan’s fandom of comics is clearly focused on his entry into Marvel Comic lore, it goes without saying that Duncan’s charitable nature shines through in this new venture. He may be hesitant toward putting his mug in ad after ad, but the juxtaposition between his love for comics, cars and charity has never been more evident than in this current side project. Moreover, Duncan certainly has no qualms about admitting to his fandom of comic books. It also serves as interesting that when Duncan entered the league in 1997, superheroes were not as popular as they are currently. Today, on the other hand, a season does not go by without a box office superhero smash hit.
The basketball star has also grown since his 1997 entry into the NBA. After being in the league for 17 years, he has proven to be one of the most consistent players of his generation, not to mention the perfect complement to coach Gregg Popovich’s fundamental style of coaching. As such, he has resulted in five championships while never missing the playoffs a single time in those 17 years. It is a rare feat that will eventually enshrine both into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Through the years, Duncan has proven himself to not only be one of the best players of his generation, but also be one of the true class acts in all of professional sports through his actions. As Tim Duncan continues to appear throughout his various loves, including a special edition of The Punisher and donating money to a San Antonio charity as part of a custom car auction, he is effortlessly and commendably solidifying his persona as one of the good guys in the NBA.
Commentary by Simon Mounsey