The Tim Duncan Project. After that, stay alive”
The San Antonio Spurs coach revealed his key to success at a recent press conference: a Tim Duncan project that I hope will lead to the NBA Championship.
Greg Popovich just attended the most press conference imaginable for Greg Popovich.
Always reluctant to speak with the media, Popvich was even more reluctant to gloat about becoming the most winning regular season coach in NBA history.
Popovic isn’t quite there yet, though: He entered the 2021-22 season needing 26 wins to break the record, and Tottenham are currently 4-11. However, achieving 1,314 wins in the regular season is no small feat, sitting only behind Lenny Wilkens and Don Nelson in the lead.
With that achievement looming, Popovich chose to speak of his NBA success over the decades in a different way: by giving all the glory to Tim Duncan.
Greg Popovich on Historic Success in the NBA: “The Tim Duncan Project. Next, stay alive.”
While Popovich deserves credit for leading Spurs to five NBA titles, none of that would have been possible without Tim Duncan.
Drafted in 1997, “The Big Fundamental” is widely considered one of the greatest strikers in NBA history. He spent his entire NBA career with Tottenham, and retired in 2016. During his time with Popovic, Tottenham teams remained competitive, winning their first championship in 1999 and the last in 2014.
Spurs saw a sharp dip in success without Duncan on the field. Duncan’s last season with the team ended 67-15, and the following season finished 61-21. Since then, Spurs’ best season has been 48-34 in 2018-19 – hardly the kind of season Spurs had with Duncan.
But Duncan is still a player at Tottenham, having joined the coaching staff for the 2019-20 season, and he still appears frequently with the squad.
While Bob sets his record, Duncan’s exclusive NBA stat shows how influential Duncan’s drafting was in 1997 in San Antonio. Duncan is the only player in NBA history to have scored 1,000 or more wins with a single team.
Popovich deserves to be commended for his victories, but there are no questions a few would have had without Tim Duncan drafting and staying alive.