According to reports, the San Antonio Spurs have given Tim Duncan an assistant coach position on Gregg Popovich’s coaching staff. The Spurs have also named summer league coach Will Hardy as an assistant coach alongside Duncan. Gregg Popovich slyly remarked regarding the hiring, “It is only fitting that after I served loyally for 19 years as Tim Duncan’s assistant, that he returns the favor.”
Tim Duncan Named San Antonio Spurs Assistant Coach
Duncan made waves immediately after being drafted number one overall out of Wake Forest University in 1997. His partnership with David Robinson led to the Spurs first championship in franchise history in 1999. Duncan retired in 2016 as arguably the greatest power forward and Spur of all time. He averaged 19.1 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2.2 blocks in 1392 games. He won five NBA championships and three Finals MVP awards over 19 seasons for the Spurs.
Duncan’s play solidified the Spurs as a steady contender for more than a decade after Robinson retired in 2003. His longevity as a player is equally as impressive as his peaks in his younger years. He never had any problem with taking less money or assuming a lesser role in order to empower his teammates. Duncan’s chemistry with coach Popovich and teammates Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Kawhi Leonard led to four more NBA titles.
With Parker, Ginobili, and Leonard all gone, Duncan’s presence will bring back an element of the Spurs championship dynasty. San Antonio’s young core of Dejounte Murray, Lonnie Walker IV, and Derrick White will all have easier access to learn from a legend of Tim Duncan’s stature. The Spurs are hoping that Duncan’s basketball acumen will rub off on its young players in a way that it did on his previous Hall of Fame teammates. Coach Popovich and Duncan’s synergy as a player-coach duo is sure to carry over to the bench in the 2019-20 NBA season.
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