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Coach Gregg Popovich Calls Tim Duncan Irreplaceable After Spurs Superstar Retires

( [email protected] ) Jul 13, 2016 09:25 AM EDT
Tim Duncan ended the months of speculation regarding his status in the NBA after officially announcing his retirement. Although San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was probably already aware of Duncan's decision before he made the announcement, he still couldn't help but feel emotional for the superstar's departure.
San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs power forward Tim Duncan (21) shoots the ball past Memphis Grizzlies power forward Chris Andersen (7, behind) during the second half in game one of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center. Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Duncan ended the months of speculation regarding his status in the NBA after officially announcing his retirement. Although San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was probably already aware of Duncan's decision before he made the announcement, he still couldn't help but feel emotional for the superstar's departure.

Duncan has been with the NBA since 1997 and has spent his entire professional career playing tirelessly for the San Antonio franchise. With almost two decades in the league and the team, he surely spent a lot of time with the Spurs' coach.

This is probably why when Duncan announced his retirement, Popovich got a bit emotional. After all, aside from saying goodbye to a close friend, he's also bidding farewell to someone who has done so much for the team.

During his time with the Spurs, Duncan led the team in claiming five NBA championships.

"I wouldn't be standing here if it wasn't for Tim Duncan," Popovich said according to ESPN. "I'd be in the Budweiser League, fat and still trying to play basketball or coach basketball. But he's why I'm standing. He's made livings for hundreds of us, staff and coaches, over the years and never said a word, just came to work everyday."

"Came early, stayed late, was there for every single person, from the top of the roster to the bottom of the roster, because that's who he was, in all those respects," he added."

Like what most fans and professional athletes had previously said, Duncan is the epitome of a perfect player. During his 19 years of service with San Antonio, he never had problems with his teammates, the team or the coaching staff.

Sure, his performance may have dipped during the course of his career, but that's perfectly understandable given his age. This is actually also one of the most admirable things about him because even though he's already pushing 40 years old, he still show the same dedication to the game.

As to what Duncan will be doing in his post-retirement life, he'll probably spend most of his time at one his Black Jack Speed Shop branches in San Antonio. But, instead of just overseeing his automotive shops, fans can expect the business owner and NBA superstar actually working on some of the cars.

"You'll actually see him out there inside of the shop getting his hands dirty and looking around at vehicles," a regular customer of the shop told KSAT.

Tags : NBA, gregg popovich, Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs, Sports