Tim Duncan’s Other Career as an Academic Psychologist

San Antonio Spurs legend, who has announced his retirement from the NBA, once logged a valuable assist in the world of academic research

Mark Leary was a social psychologist at Wake Forest in 1995 when he was invited to write a book chapter about a topic he says he didn’t know much about: egotism.

He rounded up some undergraduates to help with the research. This wasn’t as easy as it would be now. It wasn’t yet possible to read academic papers online, and his assistants had to visit obscure corners of Wake Forest’s library to dig through arcane journals. By the end of the school year, though, they had a completed draft of the book chapter, which was eventually...