In this article, Doc says that didn't cost them Duncan, and John Gabriel says the Magic actually had a verbal commitment from Lon Babby (Tim's agent at the time) that Tim wanted to join before he backed out at the last second.
âWe did a pretty decent job of painting Orlando as a field of dreams,â Gabriel said. âI got a call from Lon Babby [Hill and Duncanâs agent] saying, âYou did it. The visit with Duncan, with Grant and T-Mac, was just sort of a courtesy at the beginning, but [Duncan] wants to come.ââ
Duncan eventually re-signed with San Antonio, but Rivers says an oft-told anecdote that Duncan was turned off by being told his family could not fly on the Magicâs plane is not true. A bigger factor, he believes, were the relationships Duncan shared with center David Robinson, who cut short a vacation to Hawaii to see Duncan, and the coach heâd won the 1999 title with, Gregg Popovich.
Just imagine Duncan/T-Mac/Hill/Mike Miller...good luck trying to beat Orlando back then if they got Tim.