The Miami Heat assembling The Big Three in 2010 was probably the biggest free agent coup in NBA history, but Chicago Bulls GM Jerry Krause apparently tried to pull off something similarly ambitious a full decade earlier.
“My rookie year, Jerry thought he was gonna get Grant Hill, Tim Duncan, and Tracy McGrady,” Crawford said. “So obviously, MJ just retired, right? We have all this cap space. We have all these rookies. Go back and look, I guarantee Grant, Tim, and T-Mac were all free agents. Jerry wholeheartedly believed that we were gonna get all three of them. Even if we get two of them.”
Crawford, who spent his first four seasons with the Bulls, is referring to the summer of 2000, a time when all three aforementioned players were indeed free agents. Krause ultimately whiffed on all three though, as McGrady and Hill both signed with the Orlando Magic while Duncan returned to the San Antonio Spurs. As a result, the Bulls’ cap space went to free agents like Ron Mercer and Brad Miller that offseason instead. Chicago never made it back to the playoffs again during the tenure of Krause, who stepped down in 2003.
Tim Duncan goes down as one of the greatest players in NBA history, but Shaquille O’Neal thinks the San Antonio forward’s legacy isn’t quite as great as it seems.
Duncan and the Spurs are credited with winning five NBA championships. O’Neal doesn’t think the 1999 title should completely count.
The 1998-1999 NBA season was shortened due to a lockout that resulted in a 50-game regular season. The Spurs went 37-13 in the regular season and mowed through their opponents in the playoffs, only dropped two games. Duncan’s Spurs even swept Shaq’s Lakers in the second round.
Shaq thinks that title deserves an asterisk.
“I would tell Mr. Duncan this to his face: you have four rings. It says you have five, but the asterisks don’t count. It’s not a real season. I’ll tell all of San Antonio to its face: you only have four,” Shaq said on The Big Podcast.
The group of the first three players is no surprise, and it was predicted to be this way several weeks ago. It’s also nice to see Tomjanovich, one of the most accomplished NBA personalities around, get his due. This promises to be a must-see ceremony, and it will be an emotional one as Bryant’s absence will weigh heavily.
Tim Duncan was known for being a relatively quiet and humble player, but that led to some unexpected — and humorous — trash talk.
Kevin Garnett joined Showtime’s “All The Smoke” podcast hosted by Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson and talked about trash talking. KG said one of the keys to trash talk is being able to “back it up.”
Barnes asked if there was anyone whose trash talk Garnett respected, and that’s when KG brought up Duncan. The clip is great but contains profanity:
“Believe it not, Tim Duncan. People would not see him verbally saying stuff because he would not talk in sentences. Timmy would talk in phrases. ‘Got you.’ ‘Oooh. Almost.’ ‘Nice try.’
“And then what really really really pissed me off was when the trash talk wasn’t affecting him … and that’s when I quit talking trash to Timmy because he wouldn’t respond or he wouldn’t give me the reaction I was looking for.”
Man, Duncan was such a rock that even Garnett’s trash talk couldn’t get to him. And the trash talk in phrases is the perfect, low-key way to get someone.
Gregg Popovich seems pretty excited about Tim Duncan joining his staff as an assistant. The San Antonio Spurs coach is also very eager to joke about it.
At the first day of USA Basketball practice, Popovich spoke briefly about Duncan’s decision to join the staff, joking that the Spurs icon couldn’t coach at all and Popovich is simply paying him back for carrying him for nearly two decades.
USA Basketball coach Gregg Popovich on his new Spurs assistant: “Tim Duncan doesn’t know a lick about coaching. I don’t even know why I hired him. He’s given me a paycheck for 19 years so I was kind of obliged to pay him back.” pic.twitter.com/LuveXVynob
Popovich made a similar joke when announcing the hire, and he’ll probably have more to come. The Spurs coach certainly seems very excited to have Duncan involved again, and the jokes are clearly coming from a place of deep affection.
Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan still have quality banter all these years later.
The San Antonio Spurs announced on Monday that Duncan, the retired five-time champion, would be joining coach Gregg Popovich’s staff as an assistant along with former team video coordinator Will Hardy. Ginobili had a hilarious reaction to the news, choosing to focus exclusively on the Hardy angle.
Ginobili and Duncan were, of course, two-thirds of San Antonio’s famous Big Three along with Tony Parker. In their 14 seasons together as teammates, the two players won four titles. They also made a combined 17 All-NBA teams and 17 All-Star teams for their NBA careers, which were all spent with the Spurs.
In a statement announcing the hiring, Popovich contributed a typically hilarious quote about Duncan’s return.
The San Antonio Spurs today announced that Will Hardy and Tim Duncan will be added to Gregg Popovich’s bench as assistant coaches. “It is only fitting, that after I served loyally for 19 years as Tim Duncan’s assistant, that he returns the favor,” said Popovich.
Duncan retired in 2016 and has remained with the Spurs in a behind-the-scenes role, but this will put him back on the bench at Popovich’s side. At the time of his retirement, Popovich offered Duncan free reign to coach in whatever capacity he wanted, and now he’s getting a more prominent spot in the organization.
Draymond Green is once again sharing his story of trying to trash-talk Tim Duncan, and it never gets old.
Green spoke with ESPN The Magazine’s Sam Alipour for an interview appearing in the magazine’s NBA preview. During their interview, Alipour calls Green the best trash-talker in the game. Green proudly agreed and was asked who’s impervious to his trash talk. That’s when he brought up Duncan.
“The guy I’d never waste my breath on? Tim Duncan,” Green told Alipour. “As a rookie, I tried talking junk to Tim, and he was like a tree staring back at me. [Laughs] No expression. I said, ‘All right. It’s over.’ Never talked junk to him again. After that, anytime he fell, I’d be the first person to help him up, like I was his teammate. [Laughs] I also tried talking junk to Kobe [Bryant], maybe my second year. On a potential game winner, Mark Jackson put me in to guard him, and I got the stop. I said, ‘Yeah, I’m locking that s— up!’ He looked at me like I was crazy and said, ‘That miss ain’t got nothing to do with you. Sit down.’ I said, ‘Oh, s—! All right, I’m out.'”
The entire interview is fantastic. Green also talks about trash-talking Stephen Curry in practice, clashing with Kevin Durant and Steve Kerr, and how the Golden State Warriors would stack up with past dynasties.
But the Tim Duncan story is great. Green can trash talk anyone and throws so many guys off their game. Yet when it came to Duncan, Draymond realized he was barking up the wrong tree. It’s a story Draymond’s been sharing since 2015, and we love it no less.