Whittington honored to go against Tim Duncan

When Shayne Whittington took the floor Monday night, I couldn’t help but wonder how cool that moment was for him. He’s an inexperienced rookie, but because of injuries to both Ian Mahinmi (sprained right ankle) and Lavoy Allen (sore right knee), the 23-year-old has been in the mix the last four games.

So, after the game and once he had dressed, I worked my way to his locker and asked him.

“While I was out there, no,” he replied. “I was just another guy to try to body him up. After I got off the court, I was like ‘Whew, that’s Tim Duncan.'”

Whittington, who broke his left fibula prior to June’s draft and early indications didn’t expect him to play until January, was effective in his time on the floor (nine minutes), scoring six points and grabbing four boards.

“It’s cool to play against him,” said the Pacers’ lone rookie on roster. “He gave me a compliment on the floor.

“He just told me nice rebound after he blocked my shot. He seems funny. Good guy, great player. It’s really cool. I grew up watching him and loved his game. It’s weird, man.”

Think about that.

Duncan is 38, and entered the league in 1997. Whittington was born in March of 1991, so he was six when Duncan joined the San Antonio Spurs, an organization he helped to win five NBA titles.

Whittington, who’s 6-foot-11, looked up to and admired Duncan’s game, like any big kid into basketball would.

“He’s solid everywhere,” Whittington added. “He’s sneaky with the ball, he’s Mr. Fundamental.”

Monday, when he shared time against Duncan, was no ‘Welcome-to-the-NBA moment.’ That happened long ago, he said. Although he did joke that on Sunday, in the team’s 103-102 win at Charlotte, former Pacer Lance Stephenson tried to give him one. Stephenson attempted to dunk on Whittington hard, but he was unsuccessful as Shayne simply fouled him.

The day after he went against Duncan, Whittington wrote the following in the Instagram post seen below: “Grew up watching this legend and now getting swatted by him. Crazy were life takes you. #LearnHowToShotFake”

Well played, Shayne, or should I say, Mr. 500.

Grew up watching this legend and now getting swatted by him. Crazy were life takes you. #LearnHowToShotFake

A photo posted by Shayne Whittington (@shaynewick21) on

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