Of all the people in the world, Pop would choose Tim Duncan.
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) July 12, 2016
Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich are forever linked. Together, they played a huge role in turning the San Antonio Spurs into arguably the most successful and highly-regarded franchise in the NBA. They won five championships with one another. Now, Duncan has retired, his legacy as one of the greatest players of all-time long secured. To exemplify the close bond the two have with one another, Popovich said that, out of all the people in the world, he would want to have dinner with Duncan.
In articulating his answer, Popovich name dropped the likes of Mother Teresa and Jesus as common choices to answer this question, which immediately puts Duncan in pretty lofty company. In truth, Popovich was just acknowledging the sort of people he was overlooking in his answer to try and avoid getting any raised eyebrows directed his way, one assumes. Then, Popovich became one of the few NBA coaches to ever work William Buckley and Gore Vidal into an interview, before turning his attention to why he would choose Duncan.
Coach Pop chose “Timmy” because he is the “most real, consistent, and true person” that he has ever known. He gets a little choked up in his answer as well, showing how much he cares about Duncan. It’s the end of an era in San Antonio. Popovich and Duncan dominated the NBA together, but clearly there is so much more to their relationship than what happened on the court.