Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich are two of the best at their respective NBA jobs, and it’s a pleasure seeing them operate. Getting Popovich to explain himself in press conferences isn’t quite as enjoyable, but of course that takes nothing away from his coaching. Here’s the San Antonio Express-News blog with more as the 2014-15 NBA season approaches:
They first joined forces in 1997, Tim Duncan as the fresh-faced franchise savior, Gregg Popovich as the not-so-fresh-faced usurper still trying to prove his worth as an NBA head coach.
Seventeen seasons and five championships later, they’re still going strong, both bound for the Hall of Fame and eager to embark on what could be, with Duncan’s contract set to expire next summer, their final campaign together. The sheer weight of that partnership gave Popovich pause as the Spurs opened training camp on Saturday, the first official day of their championship defense.
“I asked Timmy before (practice), what camp is this?” he said. “He said, ‘This is the 18th camp in a row.’ I said, ‘My gosh. What do you think the first drill is going to be?’ He said, ‘Is it going to be the same stupid one we do every year?’ I said, ‘Yeah, we’re going to start at the beginning.’”
“So some of this stuff is boring. But it’s all about starting at the beginning every year, not skipping steps. You’ve heard me say it a million times, but it really is true. You have to build it all over again. You can’t assume you’re going to start where you left off. Luckily, I have a group that understands that.”