The Big Fundamental, aka Tim Duncan, is returning to the NBA. No, he won’t be lacing up his size 16 sneakers, but instead rejoining the San Antonio Spurs as an assistant coach next season. ESPN reports that Duncan will be joining his longtime head coach Gregg Popovich on the sidelines next season.
In a very typical Spurs fashion, the team announced the hiring of Duncan and the promotion of WIll Hardley who joined the team as a video intern in 2010. In as few words as possible, Duncan’s former head coach now boss said in the statement:
“It is only fitting, that after I served loyally for 19 years as Tim Duncan’s assistant, that he returns the favor.”
The statement made no mention of Duncan’s numerous achievements during his 19-years with the team before retiring in 2016. It was Hardley who got most of the praise from Popovich.
“Will Hardy is a talented, young basketball mind who has earned a great deal of respect from everyone in the organization thanks to his knowledge, spirit, and personality.”
Duncan and Hardley will be replacing former assistants Ettore Messina and Ime Udoka who left earlier this season for new jobs. When they sit on the bench next season, they will join returning assistants Becky Hammond and Chip Engelland.
Duncan is no stranger to coaching. After retiring, he worked with the Spurs big men sharing his skills that helped him win five NBA championships, earn 15 All-Star nods and other accomplishments.
Who knows, this latest chapter in Duncan’s life could one day eventually lead up to him earning a head coaching gig. Whether that be with the Spurs or another team, only time will tell. Either way, we are totally here for the return of Timmy in a coaching capacity.
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