The San Antonio Spurs turned to a club legend to fill a coaching vacancy this past offseason. Gregg Popovich decided to add Tim Duncan to his staff, giving Duncan the opportunity to pick the brain of one of the best to ever do it as he transitions to life as a coach.
Duncan has been busy during his first year as an assistant, as he’s had to fill in as the team’s acting head coach when Popovich was thrown out of a game against the Portland Trail Blazers earlier this season. Now, Duncan will get the chance to run an entire game from start to finish when the Spurs head to Charlotte to take on the Hornets on Tuesday night.
According to the team, Popovich will have to miss the game for “personal reasons.” As a result, Duncan will receive a temporary promotion.
Per Spurs PR: “Gregg Popovich will miss tonight's Spurs-Hornets game due to personal business.
“Tim Duncan will serve as the Spurs head coach tonight in place of Pop.”
— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) March 3, 2020
Obviously, the No. 1 thing here is that everything is hopefully okay with Popovich and that we’ll see him back on the bench as soon as possible. As for how the setup will work on Tuesday, perhaps it will be like that game against the Blazers, where Duncan is the de facto head coach, but assistant coaches Becky Hammon and Will Hardy do a ton of work in huddles alongside the future Hall of Fame inductee.