Gregg Popovich and Spurs Stars Recall Tim Duncan’s Exemplary Career

December 19th, 2016 by Mike Monroe Leave a reply »

SAN ANTONIO — Gregg Popovich arrived at Tim Duncan's jersey retirement ceremony well prepared. In his suit coat pocket were several tissues, folded neatly, just in case.

The San Antonio Spurs coach nearly needed them when he expressed 20 years' worth of gratitude for what he understands was the singular trait that made Duncan one of the greatest leaders in the history of basketball.

Popovich coaches hard, from the top of the roster to the bottom. And it helps to have a certain kind of team leader when you demand perfection, often at full volume.

In David Robinson, he had a fellow military academy graduate who understood command structure. In Duncan, he discovered a humble superstar, without ego or hint of attitude, willing to be an example for every teammate.

Trying to explain this to a sellout crowd at the Sunday ceremony at the AT&T Center that followed the Spurs' 113-100 win over the New Orleans Pelicans nearly brought Popovich's emotions to the surface.

"If your superstar can take a little hit now and then, everybody else can shut the hell up and fall in line," Popovich said, and ...

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