Gregg Popovich views Tim Duncan as a son

Present Spurs pay tribute to Tim Duncan by playing and winning the game against the New Orleans Pelicans as how Duncan would play the game. He made his retirement official in July.

Those were the words that San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich used to describe Tim Duncan in an interview on ESPN's SportsCenter earlier this week.

Popovich's remarks are better watched than written about, but he joked about bringing carrot cake to Duncan's hotel room for 20 years and remembered deciding with San Antonio general manager R.C. Buford that they didn't care that Duncan wore his shorts backward at practice. Under coach Gregg Popovich, they developed one of the finest and most attractive games, which broke all the rules and patterns.

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All in all it was a hell of a night to honor one hell of a player.

Pop's comments touched on much of what he covered in July's informal presser, including the touching statement that Duncan's deceased parents should be extremely proud that their son stayed the same person throughout his 19 seasons in San Antonio. Here's to the next 19 years of Spurs excellence. I don't want to talk to anybody.' He said, 'Come on, come with me.

Many basketball fans had trouble warming to the Spurs during their Duncan-led heyday, and the team's attitudes towards its media responsibilities were often standoffish enough to warrant that reaction. I don't know if he was right, or if I latched onto a random mid-January game and anxious too much.

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Able to dominate while being both a fiery and humble competitor, the modest, mild-mannered Duncan, Brown feels, sets an example worth following. "I would not be standing here if it wasn't for Tim Duncan".

John Wall added 18 points and 11 assists for the Wizards as they closed with a 22-8 run to win their third straight game and fifth in their past six contests. "He's been extremely helpful to me in my three-plus years here in Philadelphia".

A player who always preferred to let his game do the talking, Duncan was his usual quiet self during a post-game ceremony that gathered family members, Popovich and former team-mates including Tony Parker and Ginobili - who teamed up with Duncan as one of the most successful trios in National Basketball Association history.

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Check back later for updates to today's Notebook.


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