SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – The Spurs tip off their pre-season Saturday at home against Orlando and it will be Tim Duncan’s debut as assistant coach.

The team is used to seeing the Spurs legend at their workouts and training sessions, and as Spurs forward Rudy Gay joked, “He was around everyday anyway, at least now he’s getting paid for it.”

Rudy Gay, Spurs Media Day/KTSA Photo-Elizabeth Ruiz

Power forward LaMarcus Aldridge told reporters during Spurs Media Day that he’s  surprised, but pleased that Duncan accepted the job.

“Yeah, I thought he would ride off into the sunset and never come back, but he just loves the game so much, so why not?” Aldridge said. “Whenever you have Tim involved in your organization in any form, it’s always going to be great.”

LaMarcus Aldridge-Spurs Media Day/KTSA Photo-Elizabeth Ruiz


DeJounte Murray, who’s raring to get back on the court after a knee injury, says Duncan could be doing anything he wants, but he loves the game enough to come back and help the team.

“It’s going to be pretty dope. He knows how to talk to us,” said Murray.

Dejounte Murray/Spurs Media Day/KTSA Photo-Elizabeth Ruiz

Head coach Gregg Popovich was asked how he convinced Duncan to take the job.

“He wanted to do it,” said Popovich. “Something tells me it’s not going to be his passion for life, but he’s going to be great this year.”

Popovich says just having Duncan around is good for players, coaches and staff.

“He’s going to contribute in ways that I don’t even know about, kinda like a player who doesn’t show up on the stats, but makes you better,” said Popovich.

And who will replace Pop if he’s ejected from a game this season for arguing with a ref?

“I’m offended that you would even think I might get tossed ,” Popovich said as reporters burst out laughing.

The Spurs start their four-day training camp Tuesday.

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