Gregg Popovich heads into the offseason as his team was eliminated from the playoffs on Thursday by the Oklahoma City Thunder.
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Throughout the regular season, the Spurs were just a step or two behind the Warriors, winning a franchise record 67 games, only losing at home once all year and finishing second overall in the West with home court advantage through the first two opening rounds.
As it came to light, the Spurs were eliminated from the playoffs at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday. Despite the premature end to the season, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has no regrets and is quite proud of how his team played all year.
In the team’s exit interviews today for the media, Popovich talked about the season and the hard work the group put in all year.
“It was a great group. Really, a hard working group. Fun to be around. They made it enjoyable to come to work every day, and they gave everything they could and went as far as they could. I’m really pleased with their effort and their ability to just persevere all year long and keep their eye on what we were trying to do. It’s just a group that was very special.”
The group that has been assembled in San Antonio consists of future Hall of Famers in Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili. Two players that are not worried about stardom, but what is best for the team to win games. Both have been through their up and downs, and as they decide whether or not to return to the team, they are once again in the same boat. If both decide to retire in the summer, San Antonio will have to move forward from the ‘Big 3’ era.
For as long as they have been apart of San Antonio and teammates with one another, Popovich stated that it will make things ‘feel a little different’ once they do decide to retire.
“And as everybody’s going to talk all summer, ‘what’s Manu [Ginobili] going to do? What’s Timmy [Duncan] going to do?’ I really don’t know what they’re going to do. But when they do decide to move on somewhere between now and the next five years. That’s a little bit of a joke. You can laugh … It will feel a little different when you’re walking into the gym for sure.”
Hard to imagine that the end is near for the trio. Better believe that when the time does come that Duncan and Ginobili retire, the Spurs will be the Spurs. They will be contending as they have done every year. A constant force in the NBA and a perennial championship contender. No matter what happens in the offseason, the Spurs will still be the same team with Popovich at the helm.
Popovich summed it up best, “We just keep moving forward.”
(H/T CBS Sports)