The San Antonio Spurs are mostly in Orlando, Florida at a bubble site preparing for the NBA restart. However, former Spurs star Tim Duncan is not with them. Reportedly, the five-time champion and current assistant coach will not be participating in the season restart with the team in Orlando.
Tim Duncan Stays Behind for NBA Restart
The report first arrived from WOAI’s Don Harris with regards to the San Antonio Spurs assistant coach. Per Harris, Duncan was not with the team in Orlando at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex. Instead, Duncan is staying back to help with LaMarcus Aldridge’s rehabilitation program. Other members of the Spurs’ medical and performance group are also part of that rehab effort.
Aldridge had season-ending surgery on his shoulder several weeks ago, ruling him out for a return during the NBA restart. It appears based on a follow-up question a fan asked Harris, that Duncan won’t be joining the team for games at the bubble site at a later time either.
It’s also mentioned that this may be mostly due to how many members of a team’s staff are able to travel to the bubble site. Due to the overall number of Spurs’ personnel allowed, it seems that they chose for Duncan to stay behind during the restart.
Duncan is in just his first season as a San Antonio Spurs assistant coach. He filled in for Gregg Popovich to coach his first NBA game this past March, earning a win in his debut.
Popovich Preparing Team for Chance at Playoffs
While Tim Duncan won’t be seen anywhere near the players or sidelines in Orlando during the games, longtime head coach Gregg Popovich will be there. He opted to join the team for the restart despite some doubts from people that he might decide to stay home. Popovich, age 71, is the oldest coach in the league. He’s also amongst an at-risk age group for serious complications due to COVID-19.
On Wednesday, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg tweeted out a PSA video featuring the Spurs head coach. In the video clip, Popovich is shown wearing a mask and asks San Antonio residents to do the same to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Since arriving in Orlando, the players and personnel each spent 48 hours in mandatory quarantine before practice could begin. Popovich spoke with the media on a video chat about a number of topics including the fact he felt safe at the bubble site as compared to the team’s home state of Texas.
The team is now holding practices ahead of their upcoming season restart schedule. That will begin on July 31 as they take on the Sacramento Kings, with seven other games to follow. San Antonio will hope to play well enough in their eight games to overtake the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference or force a play-in game to get into the playoffs. Visit our Spurs news page for more of the latest player and team updates.