Speculations abound about the recent attendance of Tim Duncan on the San Antonio Spurs practice last Wednesday. Some people are wondering whether the former Spurs power forward will be joining the Spurs team as an assistant coach as others suggest that he will be a player development type coach come 2016-17 NBA season.
As fans know, the future Hall-of-Famer retired over the summer where he played his entire 19-year career with the San Antonio Spurs. Duncan is widely considered to be the greatest power forward of all time, as he is a five-time NBA champion, two-time NBA MVP, three-time NBA Finals MVP, NBA Rookie of the Year and a 15-time NBA All-Star. He is also the only player to be selected to both the All-NBA and All-Defensive Teams in all of his first 13 seasons.
During Monday’s media day, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said that the former Spurs franchise player could return to the organization and “be the coach of whatever he wants to be.” Popovich also joked by saying he and Duncan had already argued about why he was being fined for not showing up in the past few days.
“I told him most people under contract are required to show up for their jobs, and he said he didn’t have a contract, but I told him that I thought that we had a verbal contract and I thought that was just as good as written,” Popovich said. “We’re having a tough time, the two of us, trying to get him straight.”
Tim Duncan is at @Spurs training camp today, guess Coach Pop won't be fining him! ??
(Okay, he's not actually practicing but STILL) pic.twitter.com/pSQkK5VXCD
— FOX Sports: NBA (@HoopsOnFOX) September 28, 2016
Duncan has apparently already started to embrace the role of “coach of whatever he wants to be” by visiting the team on the second day of their training camp in San Antonio.
According to My San Antonio, the former Spur was giving pointers to the younger players, including Spurs center Dewayne Dedmon.
“I need to talk more, communicate more on defense,” Dedmon said Duncan told him. “I’ll be doing that next time.”
Spurs general manager RC Buford also said that Duncan has a spot with the team whenever he feels ready to join.
“Whatever he decides it will be,” Buford said. “I think he’s learning about life after playing. He can impact us in so many ways. I think we need to sit back and get a better understanding of how he feels like he wants to fit in, and what works for his family, and then we’ll figure it out from there. The gym feels better when he’s in it.”
The Spurs open the preseason Oct. 3 in Phoenix.
Photo Courtesy: miu3112/Flickr