SAN ANTONIO—Star Spurs center Tim Duncan has issued a public apology for his "unacceptable, inexcusable behavior" last Saturday night following a preseason loss to the Orlando Magic, saying that frustration and disappointment with his low-scoring, six-rebound performance caused "ten years' worth of unexpressed emotions to burst out of me like… like something I don't even know what."
No criminal charges, police reports, or even complaints have been filed against Duncan, who was last seen leaving the Alamodome after giving what reporters are terming "mildly animated" answers to their post-game questions at a "slightly elevated" volume.
"I simply lost control during my post-game comments, and I did not give the press the full half-hour they are entitled to," said Duncan, who is on record as calling the Spurs' play during the game "bad," "real bad," "awful," and "very, very bad indeed" several times over the course of the 28 minutes he spent with reporters. "Anyone who knows me knows I never use language like that. I can only ask the city of San Antonio to forgive me for my outburst and give me a second chance."
"I was angry," Duncan added. "I even felt mad. I never want to go through that again."
Duncan claims that, after speaking to reporters, he was filled with a level of emotion that caused his memory to become unclear. However, Duncan is fairly certain that he turned away from reporters after insufficiently thanking them for the interview, walked to the parking lot with unusual briskness, and climbed into his car in a blatantly agitated fashion.
Witnesses' accounts bear out Duncan's version of events, with several onlookers saying Duncan "slammed" the door of his 1992 Buick LeSabre closed before driving off. Spurs guard Tony Parker, whose car was near Duncan's, denied rumors that Duncan was muttering grumpily to himself, but said Duncan did exhale audibly twice while getting his car keys out.
"Looking back on it, I think he was sighing in a frustrated or even exasperated manner," Parker said. "I thought about saying something, but I didn't know what. I'd never seen him like that. Frankly, I was a little scared."
"I should not have driven in that condition," said Duncan, who has implored the children of San Antonio not to emulate his actions or regard them as "cool." "I know better than to operate a motor vehicle while upset or in a highly emotional state of mind, but I did it anyway. I only wish I had exercised the self-restraint to let it go at that."
Traffic cameras tracked Duncan traveling from the Alamodome at up to seven miles per hour over the speed limit, twice driving through yellow lights, to a convenience store near his home, where the store's security cameras show him purchasing highly caffeinated beverages and several unhealthy snacks. A clerk at the store says Duncan consumed three of the soft drinks in his car while listening to barely audible music on his car's radio before driving off several minutes later.
Duncan's mid-'90s four-door sedan was found in the parking lot of his nondescript apartment building Sunday morning, having impacted a tree at what insurance company investigators say was an "extremely low" rate of speed, inflicting almost $140 worth of damage to the car during what they say seems to be an abortive attempt to park while slightly jittery from an excess of mild sugar stimulants.
"I do not wish to discuss that at this time," Duncan said. "I'm just glad no one was hurt while I was experimenting with Coke, or Pepsi, or root beer, or whatever it was. I just remember going into my apartment, turning on the television, unblocking Showtime, and calling up a few girls from church to say 'hello' and 'how are you doing.' Frankly I'm mortified, and in light of my actions, I wouldn't blame them for being cross with me in return. I was brought up to respect women, not to place telephone calls to them at what might possibly be well past their bedtimes."
Duncan recalls nothing else until 9:30 the next morning, when he woke up two hours late, unshaven, and dressed in unusually brightly colored clothing. Duncan immediately contacted the police, and was relieved to find he had in fact broken no laws.
Duncan has assigned himself 120 hours of community service working in hospitals, neighborhood improvement projects, and on highway-beautification crews for his "reckless endangerment" of the people of San Antonio.
"I promise you," the dry-eyed Duncan said in an unusually well-modulated voice, "you will never see anything like that from me again."