“In 19 Years, Tim Duncan was never late for practice, workout, or a bus. That's a standard of excellence you tend to take for granted.” Monty Williams
In an era of superstars and headlines, Tim Duncan was quietly the best power forward to ever play the game. Not only did the Spurs win 71% of their games in the Duncan era but he is one of only two players to hit 26,000 points, 15,000 rebounds, and 3,000 blocked shots. He was an All-Star 15 times, had 15 All-Defensive team selections, two NBA MVPs, and 3 Finals MVPs.
I wanted to write this out of my distaste for the "look at me" era. Where social media can make you look like you can do no wrong. It's every person's highlight reel. This is plaguing our youngest generation, where "likes" start to become more important than the little, boring, essential things you must do to become a winner.
Tim Duncan was the best player on his team for 20 years. They won a lot of games and a lot of championships. It started with him never being late. I'm sure his coach didn't give him a high five every time he was early.
But by doing so, he set a standard of excellence that worked its way into everything they did as a team and helped them to form the Spurs dynasty.
Coaches and parents, make sure you praise behaviors not just results. Praise effort, hustle, being a good teammate, attitude, proper execution, winning well, losing well, showing up before practice or staying after practice to work on improving a skill. From this, results will not only follow, but character lessons will move on forever.