Well, that was fast.
Two days into his first season of retirement, Tim Duncan was back in the gym at the Spurs training camp Wednesday.
No, he’s not loosening up those 40-year-old muscles for Season 20. Duncan merely stood around watching the Spurs scrimmage and chatted with his old teammates and gave a tip or two to some of the young prospects.
Head coach Gregg Popovich had cracked on Monday at Media Day that Duncan was being fined $2,500 for each day that he didn’t show up to camp.
“Most people under contract are required to show up for their jobs,” Popovich told reporters on Wednesday. “He said he didn’t have a contract, but I told him I thought we had a verbal contract, and I thought that was just as good as written. We’re having a tough time right now, the two of us, trying to get him straight. He’s always been tough to manage but especially so now that he’s retired.”
Popovich says Duncan’s continuing role with the organization is not yet clear and the franchise icon does not yet have an official title. “He’s coach of whatever he feels like,” Popovich said.
“I think he’s learning about life after playing,” said general manager R.C. Buford. “He can impact us in so many ways. I think we need to sit back and get a better understanding of how he feels like he wants to fit in, and what works for his family, and then we’ll figure it out from there. The gym feels better when he’s in it.”
Center Dewayne Dedmon, who signed with the Spurs after stints in Golden State, Philadelphia and Orlando the past three seasons, got a few words of wisdom from the future Hall of Famer.
“I need to talk more, communicate more on defense,” Dedmon said. “I’ll be doing that next time. He says a couple of words to you, let’s you know what you need to do. He was one of the best to ever do it. So it’s always a plus when he comes around.”
Fran Blinebury has covered the NBA since 1977. You can e-mail him here and follow him on Twitter.
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