USA TODAY Sports
Tim Duncan has retired, and Gregg Popovich remains with the San Antonio Spurs. However, it was often thought that when Duncan walked away after his storied career, Popovich would follow closely behind. But now, Popovich, who is coaching the Team USA Select Team as he prepares to take over for Coach K coaching Team USA, is joking that he may never be able to retire.
Here is Pop’s explanation for why he’s still coaching and not spending all his time sipping wine with Duncan, courtesy of ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne:
“You know what happened? I just got roped in,” Popovich joked. “I had to keep making promises. Manu [Ginobili] was going to sign a few years back and he was like, ‘Are you going to be here?’ Tony [Parker], then Kawhi [Leonard]. Then when we were recruiting LaMarcus [Aldridge], he was like, ‘Are you going to be here?’ it just goes on and on. So I guess I can never stop, I can never retire.
“There’s gotta be some time when we’re trying to sign a free agent and he goes, ‘Pop, are you going to be here?’ and I say, ‘Nope, I’m leaving next week.'”
Popovich is 67 now, so it is hard to see him coaching for a terribly long time further. That being said, he should have at least a handful more years in him, and the Spurs still look to be one of the better teams in the NBA. It may be weird for Pop to coach the Spurs without Duncan, but, for the sake of the health and sanity of Spurs fans, it is probably for the best that he didn’t retire when Duncan did.