Gregg Popovich is promising that his San Antonio Spurs will have the same winning culture even without retired legend Tim Duncan. The Spurs head coach has no choice but to move on but is assuring their fans that they will once again be one of the top teams in the Western Conference using the same philosophy that has made the successful in the past.
Popovich shared to San Antonio Express-News his thoughts on his team without Duncan and that he has already “put it out of my mind” with regards to missing his veteran power forward for the first time in more than a decade.
“Same culture, same philosophy. I only know what I know. We’ll hang our hat on defense. We just don’t have the greatest power forward of all-time playing for us anymore,” Gregg Popovich said in the article.
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The long-time Spurs’ mentor also said that Duncan is welcome to be with the Spurs in any role that he wants.
“If he wants to go on a scouting trip, fine. If he wants his own station in training camp, he has it. He’s in charge. He can tell me exactly what he wants to do. But I’m not paying him a penny,” Popovich added jokingly.
Duncan’s value with the team recently has been more on the leadership side after he struggled majority of the 2015-2016 season and playoffs. His sudden retirement was not a surprise for many and most people respected his decision.
Without Duncan, the Gregg Popovich and the Spurs remain one of the top contenders in the West along with “super team” Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Spurs still have two key superstars in LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard, who is considered an MVP candidate next season. Returning are Tony Parker, Danny Green and Manu Ginobili to provide the veteran presence for the Spurs.
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However, Duncan’s departure will leave a hole in the Spurs’ system. San Antonio was mentioned in many NBA rumors this offseason but settled on getting veteran center Pau Gasol, who is assumed to replace Duncan’s role with the team, on offense and defense and as a veteran leader for the squad.
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