Tim Duncan suing real estate company over doctored image

By Vincent Frank
Courtesy of USA Today Images

Former San Antonio Spurs big man Tim Duncan didn’t necessarily make many enemies during his 19-year career in the NBA.

Seen as a gentle giant, Duncan endeared himself to teammates and foes alike with an unassuming personality and a respectful manner.

Less than a month into retirement, Duncan is apparently in the midst of creating a foe in the courthouse. The five-time NBA champion is suing the San Antonio-based Keller Williams realty over a doctored image that depicts him holding a sign featuring the realtor’s logo.

“It was just so blatant and so shameless,” Duncan’s lawyer, Michael D. Bernard, told the San Antonio Express-News. “We don’t want people to think this is OK or that it goes unnoticed, because it doesn’t. There is a consequence to it.”

There are obviously likeness and copyright infringement issues here. The original photo shows Duncan holding up a hand-written sign with with the following inspirational quote.

“Good. Better. Best. Never let it rest until your good is better and your better is your best!”

Making matters more interesting, the doctored image was allegedly posted on the realtor’s Facebook page with a caption that read: “Wow! Just Wow! TD took the time to give us some love! Thanks Tim! We love you too man!”

It’s not yet known how much Duncan is seeking in the lawsuit, but he has a darn good case here. A company simply can’t use an image of a public figure without his/her permission. It surely can’t do so while suggesting said figure is advertising for the company.

Unfortunately for those involved at Keller Williams realty, it appears that the company’s Facebook page was filled with doctored images of celebrities “supporting” its product.

Of course, that was until those in charge at the San Antonio-based real estate company deleted the social media account.