ROSEMONT, Ill. -- Tamera Young scored 24 points, Elena Delle Donne added 22 and the Chicago Sky beat the Seattle Storm 92-88 on Friday night.Chicago (14-13) has won three straight and six of seven to move into a tie with Atlanta for second place in the Eastern Conference.Jewell Loyd had 23 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists to lead Seattle (11-17), which has lost two of three and is tied with Connecticut for the eighth playoff spot. Sue Bird added 15 points and Breanna Stewart had 13 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for the Storm.Alysha Clark converted a 3-point play to pull Seattle to 88-86 with 56.2 remaining. The Skys Courtney Vandersloot made a jumper from the top of the key before Loyd answered with a driving layup with 34 seconds to play to make it 90-88. Delle Donne missed on the Skys next possession, but Birds potential tying jumper rimmed out with 0.9 left. 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The magnitude of Tim Duncans contributions over his 19-year career are every bit as remarkable as the announcement of his retirement on Monday was understated: Duncan collected five titles with the San Antonio Spurs and 1,001 regular-season victories, all with the same team in a small basketball outpost held over from the ABA-NBA merger.In an era defined by athleticism, Duncan was a master of mechanics. While contemporaries built careers on defying gravity, Timmy deked opponents with jab steps, shoulder fakes and line-drive bank shots, with both feet on the ground. He didnt captivate fans or sponsors with his exploits or charm them with charisma. He was wholly uninterested in the salesmanship required to build a personal brand and didnt give the NBA and its marketers much to work with as the league harnessed its star power to expand its global reach.For Duncan, the postgame podium wasnt a platform, but a sentence.Yet something improbable happened while he was slinking out of the Spurs locker room and dodging the spotlight:Inside the league, Tim Duncan became the most influential player of his generation. Though he had little public appeal outside central Texas over his two decades in the league, Duncan ushered in cultural change in NBA practice facilities, locker rooms and executive suites.The present-day NBA has become singularly consumed with the adoption and implementation of organizational culture. Forever looking for competitive advantages, franchises have turned to workplace culture as a bulwark. We might not be able to attract a top-line free agent, or hit the jackpot in the draft, but there are 44 games in an NBA season that can be won if we value the right things.This is the leagues guiding principle in 2016, from Atlanta and Salt Lake City to Oklahoma City and Brooklyn, where disciples of the Tim Duncan era learned the art and science of team-building in San Antonio. Theyve applied the findings and sculpted them to suit a particular roster or market. Some have enjoyed modest success while others are just getting started. But try as they might to replicate the Spurs recipe, all of them are forced to concede at a certain juncture that theyre missing one essential ingredient:They dont have Tim Duncan.We walk into our houses and thank Tim Duncan, Atlanta Hawks head coach and longtime Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer says. You think about all the coaches and all the GMs and even the assistant video guys who are now assistant coaches, all the people who have climbed the NBA ladder -- we all owe our success, our place in the league to Timmy.The magnitude of that, the number of people in this league who have enjoyed opportunity or found fortunate spots in the league, you can trace it back to this one guy -- to the way Timmy played ball and the conducted himself. The culture is Timmy.Kevin Durant was a credible leader during his tenure with the Thunder -- a founding father of the program, in the words of general manager Sam Presti. Begrudging a first-rate star like Durant the opportunity to forge his own professional path is unwarranted, but his departure from Oklahoma City underscores a truth that owners and execs learn sooner or later. An organizations culture can shield it from disaster, but that culture is only as strong as its leading player.Thats why more measured voices in the Golden State Warriors wince when they read about their owner taking a victory lap for an organizational structure thats light yyears ahead.dddddddddddd Its why every Spurs alum now in a senior managerial role elsewhere understands theres a limit to what infrastructure can do for a team absent a transcendent leader on the roster.And its why Gregg Popovich said a couple of years ago, Before you start handing out applause and credit to anyone else in this organization for anything thats been accomplished, remember it all starts with and goes through Timmy. As soon as he [retires], Ill be 10 steps behind. Because Im not stupid.Theres an ethic of reticence in San Antonio, where Duncan managed to shroud himself in mystery for 19 years. I dont feel comfortable putting myself out there, he told me in 2013. Im just a basketball player. I play the game. I go home. Confidants describe the public relations part of the job as torture for Duncan, an affront to the game. The periphery of the NBA life, everything outside the practice facility, is nonsense.Trying to be something that youre not gets you out of your comfort zone, Duncan said then. Im not that guy. I did a little bit of that. Ive done my share of it, but Im just not that guy. I dont think of myself in that respect. I love playing basketball and thats what I want to do. I dont need the extra stuff.But in the Spurs day-to-day operations, Duncans emotional intelligence was the connective tissue that held together Popovichs disciplined structure. Duncan would readily pass the mantle to Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, then celebrate their success as if it was his own.The thing that amazed me about how Timmy built relationships was how subtle it was -- the touch, the arm around the shoulder, the thing that would look like little or nothing to outsiders, Budenholzer says. It affected people, maybe because it was subtle and under-the-radar.Blake Griffin, who has admired the way Duncan carries himself, sought out Duncans counsel a few years back. Griffin was part of a Los Angeles Clippers team that now had several loud voices and wanted to glean how quiet leadership could make a difference. The thing I took away the most was this idea that a leader isnt the guy whos pounding the chest, or huddles or giving motivational speech, Griffin says. It was really reassuring to me as a younger guy, that you dont have to be something youre not. Of many things you can say about him, thats the thing that sets him apart -- he never tried to see who wasnt. And it works.At any time, theres always the one guy theyll use as an example. Maybe its Russell Wilson for a year or two. Then they move on to Tom Brady or [Kevin Garnett]. But [Duncan] has been the guy you constantly hear about whos constantly doing it right. Hes the guy who deserved the shine, but was riding underneath it.For a man who was so inaccessible to those looking in from the outside, Tim Duncan was an everyman. Most of our lives and careers emulate Duncans: We do the work quietly and diligently and dont have much cause to glory-hound. The job is the job, and if youre lucky, you do it because you love it, but not for any external affirmation, other than you want your partner, family and friends to be proud because its nice to be admired by the people in the world you care most about.Tim Duncan invented the NBAs modern vision of team culture. Now the rest of basketball is trying to imitate the guy nobody found fashionable. ' ' '