Wednesday 24th July 2024,
The Hoop Doctors

Bruce Bowen: Duncan Would’ve Joined Magic in 2000 if Doc Rivers Allowed Family on Flights


For those who don’t remember or are unaware, there was once a time when Tim Duncan was an actual free agent that visited other teams. I know, crazy right?

In the summer of 2000, Duncan was one of a trio of highly sought after free agents on the market, the other two being Tracy McGrady (who was only 21 and not a star yet) and the other being Grant Hill.

All of which visited the Magic who had dreams of teaming all three together, or at the very least two: Duncan and Hill. Hill signed and Duncan reportedly was legitimately conflicted before re-signing with the Spurs, which led the Magic to put all of their remaining chips on Tracy McGrady.

We all know what has ensued over the last 15 years. Duncan built a dynasty with the Spurs, winning four more NBA Championships and a few MVP awards and essentially becoming a op five player in NBA history. Grant Hill dealt with a slew of serious foot and ankle injuries that marred much of his career in Orlando, before having a nice swan song as a starter and valuable player for the Phoenix Suns in his twilight years, and Tracy McGrady became a mega-star in Orlando before being dealt to Houston and starring for a few more years before injuries started taking their toll in his late 20s.

Imagine how the NBA would have been different if Duncan signed with the Magic in 2000. Bruce Bowen is saying the main reason it didn’t happen was because Head Coach Doc Rivers wouldn’t allow family on flights…

This is what he told Fox Sports West:

“When Tim went out to meet with Orlando, he asked this question: Can family come on the flights to some games? And from what I understand, Doc said no, and that’s where he lost Tim Duncan.”

While it is hard for me to really believe that Duncan would have 100% committed to the Magic if Rivers had said yes, are you freaking kidding me?? A 24-year-old superstar that has already won an NBA title and projects to be one of the greatest of all-time is seriously considering signing with you in free agency and you won’t cave to a demand as minor as that? I feel like Doc Rivers should be banned from the NBA forever and Magic fans are probably losing their minds right now.

This has officially become another great NBA what-if.

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