Report: Spurs offered assistant position to Ginobili first
ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 25, 2019 10:19 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 31: Tim Duncan #21 of the San Antonio Spurs and Manu Ginobili #20 of the San Antonio Spurs after Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals during the 2014 NBA playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena on may 31, 2014 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
The 2019-20 NBA season will see San Antonio Spurs icon Tim Duncan return to the only club he's ever played for, albeit in an assistant coach position on the sidelines.
But according to a report by Marc Stein of The New York Times, it was originally going to be another Spurs legend: Manu Ginobili.
In the July 23 edition of his newsletter, Stein wrote that the position was first offered to Ginobili, except the Argentine turned it down, as he had only been retired for one season.
Seeing the hole in Coach Gregg Popovich's staff, Duncan "made himself available because he sensed that Popovich needed him," Stein added.
Ginobili announced that he was hanging up his sneakers on August 27, 2018, and had his jersey retired by the Spurs on March 28. Duncan on the other hand called it a career on July 11, 2016, with his jersey getting retired later that year on December 18.
Stein added that Duncan had "been a frequent presence at the Spurs' practice facility throughout his retirement, happily tutoring any Spurs big man who wanted the instruction."
The Spurs had vacancies to fill on their bench after Ime Udoka left for the Philadelphia 76ers, and Ettore Messina returned to Europe to coach Olimpia Milano.
In addition to Duncan, the Spurs also named Will Hardy as one of their new assistants.