- ‘Optionally piloted’ Black Hawk helicopter clears tests; future missions to go ‘fully unmanned’
- Vice News reporter kidnapped in Ukraine is freed after being beaten, blindfolded
- FCC’s new ‘net neutrality’ proposal sparks outrage among consumer advocates
- Families of ferry’s lost confront South Korean officials
- 2-week truce for Sriracha hot sauce maker, California city
- NYC’s de Blasio seeks to ban wood-burning fireplaces
- Residents angry Obama mispronounced town’s name during mudslide visit
- Israel halts peace talks with Palestinians
- Netanyahu’s driver accused of raping girls under age 12
- Putin calls Internet ‘CIA project’ that must be controlled
Popovich: Duncan back ‘even slimmer’ than before
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Tim Duncan is no longer getting better with age, but he’s apparently getting slimmer and fitter.
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Thursday that Duncan returned this summer for his 14th season perhaps in even better shape than a year ago, when the perennial All-Star reported to training camp 15 pounds lighter.
“He’s trim and slim. I think he’s even slimmer than he was last year,” Popovich said. “He’s really serious about this. He knows his responsibilities. He wants to win again.”
Popovich met with reporters in San Antonio for the first time since Phoenix swept the Spurs from the Western Conference semifinals in May. He’ll open training camp Sept. 27 with Duncan, who turns 35 this season, leading what is a mostly unchanged Spurs roster.
San Antonio is still built to go only as far as Duncan can take them. But he’ll get some long-overdue frontcourt help with the addition of 7-footer Tiago Splitter, the marquee signing for the Spurs in an otherwise quiet offseason.
Originally drafted by the Spurs in 2007, Splitter is a former MVP and championship winner in the Spanish League. He joins the Spurs amid high expectations _ Popovich compared Splitter’s NBA-readiness to Manu Ginobili’s arrival in 2002.
That doesn’t mean Splitter will be a go-to scorer. Popovich said the Brazilian’s biggest impact will instead be rebounding and defense, but those contributions should be immediate.
“He’ll come in running, so to speak, and not have a problem,” Popovich said.
Duncan got off to a roaring start in the playoffs last year against Dallas though still finished the season averaging 17.9 points and 10.1 rebounds, both career lows. He has two years left on his contract.
Ginobili, 33, is starting a new three-year extension while Tony Parker isn’t signed past this season.
“Fantastic means have an opportunity to win a championship, and that’s what we’re always looking for here,” Popovich said. “There’s no reason why this group can’t do it, but there are also probably 10 teams in the league that feel they have that opportunity.”
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
- In its hunt for Senate, Republican candidates campaign against Harry Reid
- Obamacare class-action suit opens a new legal front
- List Hillary Clinton's successes? State Dept. spokeswoman flubs answer
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- 'Conservatives' should feel exposed by Bundy's racist comments: Scarborough
- Obama avoids 'red line' for China, prepared to impose tougher sanctions on Russia
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Sold out: Ukraine's leadership swapped best military weapons for cash
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014