Tim Duncan: From Player to Coach

Josh Miller, Sports Staff

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         Arguably one of the greatest NBA big men of all time, San Antonio Spurs center Tim Duncan retired from basketball at the end of the 2016 season. After Duncan’s career ended in the NBA as a player, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich announced this past summer that Duncan would be joining his staff as an assistant for the 2019 season.

         During an incredible 19-year career, Duncan molded himself into one of the greatest basketball players in the game.

         Duncan’s career began in San Antonio – and that’s where it stayed. He brought the Spurs up to 5 NBA championships, while being the MVP for three of those as well as a league MVP twice. A 15-time all star and 10-time selection to the All-NBA first team, Duncan created quite the resume as a player in the NBA.

         A lot of Duncan’s success would not have occurred if not for Spurs head coach and mentor Gregg Popovich. Arguably one of the best coaches in NBA history, Popovich was with Tim Duncan every step of his career and helped mentor him into the man he has become.

         The decision seems like a perfect fit for the Spurs. If anyone knows about winning, it’s Duncan and Popovich. Duncan can relate to the players in a way that most people can’t, players like all-stars Demar Derozan and Lamarcus Aldridge.

         I asked Coach Popovich how it felt to coach Tim Duncan as a player, and now to coach alongside him. Popovich stated “It’s like a big dose of serendipity …after being so close with him for so long, it’s great to have a friend like that, that’s still right there.” Popovich talked about how wise and loved Duncan is and how great it is to be around him.

         Though we don’t know how Duncan will perform as a coach in his first season, adding Duncan to the coaching staff seems like it will be a great fit for the Spurs. And who knows, it may even lead to him becoming a head coach one day.