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Spurs legend Tim Duncan’s powerful message to Gregg Popovich in Hall of Fame speech

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Tim Duncan has done it all throughout his 19-year NBA career. The San Antonio Spurs legend boasts of an impressive list of individual accolades and team accomplishments which bolstered his path towards Springfield.

Duncan is all about consistency which leads us to one constant figure who made a significant impact in his career—Gregg Popovich. Of course, Duncan’s Hall of Fame speech would not be complete without tipping his hat to his former coach and forever friend.

“You showed up after I got drafted. You came to my island. You sat with my friends [and] family. You talked with my dad. I thought that was normal. It’s not.”

Popovich began coaching the Spurs in 1996, manning a ship that was headed to the lottery. The following season, they hit the jackpot after getting the rights to select Wake Forest’s prized big man. With Tim Duncan on board, the organization’s fortunes drastically changed.

Duncan and Popovich never missed the playoff bus during their years together. Between them are five championships and a dynasty.

Beyond what they did on the court, their relationship was also admired by many. Duncan allowed Popovich to put him on blast just like the guy who’s on a 10-day contract. It made the two-time MVP a unique kind of superstar and no one was more equipped to guide him than Popovich.

Their basketball partnership continued when Duncan re-joined the Spurs, post-retirement, to become part of Popovich’s coaching staff. The Hall of Famer stepped down from his role in 2020.