Big Brother: Dear Dwight
A letter from Tim Duncan to Dwight Howard.
by Charles Dunson
It’s me, Timmy (it’s OK get the South Park jokes out now). I don’t talk much publicly, but I do greatly enjoy crafting handwritten letters. However, I don’t know your address and you may not even live in the same city by the time I finish so I’ll just type an email. We bigs have to stick together. Most of the media has forgotten me and embraced you as the NBA’s best big man but that’s OK. Anyways, I’ve been following your celebrity trade demands through the media. You’ve been more of a diva than Aretha Franklin making lunch demands on tour with the Supremes. However, that’s part of your problem. You should follow my example. I played four years of college ball while you came straight from high school. The simple truth is that I could teach you some things.
You could have been remembered differently than these other superstars that were more worried about their Q-rating and endorsement dollars than their ring totals. Orlando is a great franchise and a classy organization. But you should know that forming a championship nucleus is like dating on E-Harmony. Sometimes you meet in person and find out the profile photo your date used was taken 20 years ago.
Eleven years ago, I nearly flew to Florida so I could sign with the Orlando Magic. To a kid from St. Croix playing in San Antonio, Orlando was a major market. I guess we can agree to disagree on that point. I didn’t think David and I could win another title together because he was getting older and I was in my prime. I was supposed to be the final piece in deadly trio with Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady in addition to two lesser known players named Chauncey Billups and Ben Wallace. This was before Tracy became a perennial All-Star and future scoring champ. Unfortunately, Grant’s ankles forced him to sit out 235 games over a five year span and he was never the same again. T-Mac and Hill never won a playoff series together while I won three more titles by staying in San Antonio.
You need a mentor. A slightly smaller Big Brother— if you will. As you may know, I learned from a true professional in David Robinson. Robinson was in a position much like you are now. After spending two years in the Navy after his college basketball career ended, Robinson could have chosen to become a free agent and play in Los Angeles with Magic or Chicago with Jordan. Instead, he honored his commitment to the Spurs. He spent nine seasons with San Antonio before we won an NBA championship together. We eventually won two and he’s hailed as a hero throughout Texas. He taught me everything including how to handle the NBA life, how to play the position and even which shaving gel to use. On the floor we played with military precision and discipline. You can thank Coach Pop for that.
You’ve never had these things, Dwight. You clown on Stan Van Gundy in the media and call out your teammates, but people are beginning to stop taking you seriously. You’re too good for that. You’re a blend of David and Hakeem “The Dream”. I’ve never watched Saturday Night Live but how you’ve never hosted it is beyond me. You don’t have to act like Charles Barkley for attention, though. I remember when you first came into the NBA. Tim Tebow reminds me of a young Dwight that had his head on his shoulders and had the Ten Commandments by his side. Somewhere along the road, you lost your way and ended up with a baby mama on Vh1.
I think you wanted Shaquille O’Neal to pass the cape along to you and be the Jor-El to your Superman. Unfortunately, it never happened. Instead, you two have been fighting like General Zod and Kal-El (I thought you’d appreciate the DC Comics references). Whether you realize it or not, you’re following in almost the exact same footsteps as Shaq and you’re also turning into him. After the immature way he’s behaved towards you and the melodramas Shaq has been a part of, do you really want that to be your legacy? Or do you want to be remembered as me and David will be? I want to pass the torch down to you Dwight as the Elder Statesmen of Big Men.
Life is cyclical. I’m getting older and averaging career lows in points, rebounds and minutes. However, last season we were the West’s No. 1 seed and despite Manu playing only 13 minutes of basketball this month we are currently first in the Southwest. You see, I was never a DC Comics guy but I do love Terminator. I’m like a T-800 cyborg and San Antonio is my Sky-Net. All we do is win down here without all the glitz, glamor or drama. Winning the dunk contest has its perks but winning NBA championships promises immortality.
I’ll likely be signing a more cap-friendly deal in the off-season and you’re the premiere defensive player in the game. Gregg Popovich is the best defensive coach in the League. You should come to San Antonio. Tony Parker told me to ask you, “Comment ça-va?” The three of us can hang out, talk basketball, go bull riding, (you can show me how to use a bench press, I’ll show you some post moves) and we can sign a few contracts. We’d mesh well together. You can still be crazy Dwight. You’ll be the Captain Kirk to my Spock and Tony will be our Chekov but tone down the jokes.Do the Dwight thing. If you really don’t want to stay in Orlando, don’t go to Brooklyn, Dallas or L.A and if you don’t want to talk, I guess I’ll give Andrew Bynum a call.
Sincerely, Your buddy,
Timmy “Slam” Duncan
(P.S. I forgot to mention: We haven’t used our amnesty clause yet because our GM R.C. Buford doesn’t make bad acquisitions like Gilbert Arenas or Vince Carter so if you’d like to bring a friend, you’re more than welcome. We can make room.)