Forward Tim Duncan could have easily gone out on top, with his fifth NBA championship trophy under his arm and his health intact a few months after his 38th birthday.
But Duncan is having too much fun with his San Antonio Spurs coaches and teammates, and he is playing too well to call it quits.
Duncan has decided to exercise the option on his contract for 2014-15 and will return next season, team officials announced Monday.
As the Spurs beat the two-time defending champion Miami Heat in the NBA Finals earlier this month, Duncan was asked several times about his future — as he has been for the last several years. He was noncommittal, saying he would take time after the season ended to mull his decision.
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Duncan will make about $10.3 million next season in the final year of a two-year agreement drawn up specifically to allow the Spurs the financial flexibility to surround him with top-shelf talent.
“He feels a responsibility to his teammates,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of Duncan after the team won the title. “He enjoys them. He wants to hang around as long as he can while he’s useful and while he’s having an impact on the game.”
Robinson to stay
DENVER – Denver Nuggets guard Nate Robinson and forward Darrell Arthur have exercised their contract options for the upcoming season.
Robinson, a former standout for the Washington Huskies and Rainier Beach High School in Seattle, averaged 10.4 points and 2.5 assists last season for Denver before a knee injury Jan. 29 ended his season.
Robinson, 30, reportedly will make $2.1 million next season.
Anthony opts out
NEW YORK – Forward Carmelo Anthony “loves being a Knick” but is headed for free agency because he wants to explore options, said his agent, Leon Rose.
Anthony, 30, had a Monday deadline to terminate the final year of his contract and had already told New York he would do so. He will be able to negotiate with teams starting next Tuesday.
Phoenix forward-center Channing Frye, 31, also opted out of his contract.
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• Knicks point guard Raymond Felton, 29, is expected to avoid jail by pleading guilty in a felony gun-possession case in exchange for being sentenced to community service and a $5,000 fine.