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Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Tim Duncan Steps in for Gregg Popovich, Leads Spurs as Acting Head Coach During Tuesday's Game

Posted By on Wed, Mar 4, 2020 at 12:59 PM

click to enlarge INSTAGRAM / SPURS
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While Gregg Popovich was tending to "personal business" Tuesday night, a familiar face stepped into the role of head coach for the Spurs' game against the Charlotte Hornets.

Some fans may have been surprised to see Tim Duncan, an assistant coach, take charge of the tcoaching staff, but the former star said he had support from Becky Hammon, the senior assistant coach and Pop's second in command. In a surprising post-game interview, Duncan said Hammon and Assistant Coach Will Hardy made calls throughout the game, which ended in a one-point win for San Antonio.
"It's night and day to be in the big-boy chair," Duncan told ESPN. "But truth be told, I wasn't in the big-boy chair. ... I was the only one just standing there screaming at people — nonsensical stuff."

Duncan said the coaching was a collaborative effort.

"We did it coach-by-committee, and it could've been any one of us up there and we would've done exactly the same stuff," Duncan said.

That hasn't stopped Spurs fans — and sports news outlets — from celebrating the longtime player taking over for Coach Pop for the night. Current Spurs players had nothing but good things to say about Duncan's presence on the court wearing a blazer instead of a jersey.

"He obviously has that presence that everyone likes to listen to what he says, and you know he's very calm in situations and very constructive, and everyone listens and goes out and tries to accomplish that," Patty Mills told the Express-News. "So it was good to see everyone dialed in to what he was saying."

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