Following a heartbreaking 111-109 game seven loss last night to the Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs star Tim Duncan was non-committal when asked about his future in the NBA with the Spurs.
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was asked about the future of his team during his post game press conference, which preceded Duncan’s. Popovich seemed open to the idea of returning to the sidelines next year, despite rumors that the Duncan led Spurs team could be broken up this summer.
“We’ll probably come back. The paycheck’s pretty good.”
Popovich’s statement seemed to surprise Tim Duncan, who was asked about his coach’s comment during his session with reporters. Duncan replied, “If that’s what he said, that’s what he said. I’m not making any statement.”
When asked about retirement, Duncan told reporters, “It’s a little too early to think about that.”
The Spurs, who just last year won the NBA title, are comprised of a core, big-three group of players that rank among the oldest in the NBA. Tim Duncan is 39 and Manu Ginobili will turn 38 this summer. Star point guard Tony Parker will turn 33 on May 17.
Ginobili was also non-committal on his future, telling reporters, “It (retirement) could happen. I still don’t know. I don’t want to make a decision after being a disappointment in a game like this. So I’ll have a lot of time. I will sit with my family and try to evaluate what happened during the season, how I feel and if I am ready to go at it again. I guess the Spurs are going to have to make a decision, too, and see what they want to do also.”
The youngest member of the San Antonio big-three, Tony Parker, seemed to want his teammates Duncan and Ginobili back, saying, “I’d tell them to come back. I love playing with Timmy and Manu.”
Tim Duncan first won an NBA title during the lockout shortened 1998-1999 season. Duncan has gone on to capture five total championships with the Spurs (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2014) during his career. Head coach Gregg Popovich has manned the sidelines on all five championship teams alongside Duncan. Parker and Ginobili have been at Duncan’s side during four of the five championship seasons (2003, 2005, 2007, and 2014).
Tim Duncan was the No. 1 overall pick for the San Antonio Spurs in the 1997 NBA draft out of Wake Forest. Tim spent his first six seasons playing alongside basketball hall of famer David Robinson, winning two titles with the NBA legend (1999 and 2003). Learning from one of the best post players of his era, Duncan went on to become arguably the greatest power forward in NBA history.
On Saturday night’s loss to the Clippers at the Staples Center, Duncan scored 27 points and hauled in 11 rebounds, showing that he can still turn it on for a big performance. However, despite his impressive playoff outing, Duncan’s numbers were down over the course of the 2014-2015 season. Duncan averaged 13.9 points per game (second lowest of his career) and 9.1 rebounds per game (third lowest of his career) this year.
[Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images]