When you think of Tim Duncan, you think of Gregg Popovich. Heck, ESPN’s Marc Stein wrote an (incredibly detailed) article in 2014 calling Duncan and Popovich the “NBA Power Couple”. Both are stoic in their approach, but undeniably two of the best to ever be around basketball. Popovich is notoriously dry in his wit and Duncan is almost a mirror image of his coach in that regard.
So when the Spurs’ head coach spoke and showed some out of character emotion during Duncan’s jersey retirement ceremony on Sunday night in San Antonio, it turned more than a few heads.
— NBA (@NBA) December 19, 2016
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) December 19, 2016
Pop: "I can honestly say to Mr and Mrs Duncan, who have passed, that (TD) is exactly the same person now as when he walked in the door."
— Matt Winer (@matt_winer) December 19, 2016
Pop told an odd story about carrot cake and even at one point was seemingly on the verge of tears.
Coaches year in and year out are changed out quickly. Popovich is a rare breed, and the fact that he and Duncan stayed together in San Antonio for 19 years is unbelievable. And the success they had over that time — five rings and playoff appearances every season — is even more astonishing.