It was a fundamental move. Tim Duncan is making his return to the NBA. After a few years in retirement, Tim Duncan, arguably the greatest power forward in the storied history of the National Basketball Association, is coming back in the saddle as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs. The team made the announcement on Monday (July 22). Of course, always being low-key, Tim Duncan didn’t have a press conference to announce his new role.


Duncan will serve under his former head coach Gregg Popovich. Popovich drafted Duncan out of Wake Forest with the first overall pick in the 1997 draft. The dynamic duo spent 19 seasons together until Duncan’s retirement in 2016 and won five NBA titles together

“It is only fitting, that after I served loyally for 19 years as Tim Duncan’s assistant, that he returns the favor,” Popovich said in the team release.

Noting their close relationship, Popovich, 70, described Duncan, 43, as “like my son” and “more soulmates in life than we are in basketball” when Duncan’s No. 21 jersey was retired in December 2016.

Also joining the Spurs coaching staff is Will Hardy, who first joined the Spurs as a basketball operations intern.

“Will Hardy is a talented, young basketball mind who has earned a great deal of respect from everyone in the organization thanks to his knowledge, spirit and personality,” said Popovich.