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"One of my biggest pet peeves as a player was when guys got some success in this league and they changed," says Elliott, who played with Duncan for four years. "Sometimes it happened in, like, two weeks. The reason is that the overwhelming majority of guys don't know who they are. They're trying to be someone they're not, to appease a certain type of crowd or niche."
And Duncan? "He's always known who he was and been comfortable in his own skin," Elliott says. "In 15 years he hasn't changed."
Ask Duncan about it, and this is what he says: "It sounds somewhat arrogant, but I don't really want to change. I like who I am, I like how I do things." He pauses. "I try to be that way."
13 New York
Great parlor-game discussion: What would have happened if Duncan had been drafted by the Knicks? Would he be the league's marquee name? Or would the spotlight have been too much?
"He'd have been great," says Popovich.
"He would have adapted," says Kerr. "The beat writers would have chased him around for a year and eventually given up."
Says Duncan, "It would have been torture. I probably wouldn't have lasted there very long."
14 The Island Vibe