There isn't much Gregg Popovich has not experienced in his basketball career, but he must have forgotten what it felt like to navigate a pre-season without Tim Duncan.
The duo brought incredible success to the organisation throughout their 20 years together but the San Antonio Spurs are heading into a new era following his decision to retire in the summer.
Duncan still has a role within the organisation, as Pop so eloquently put it, it's whatever he wants to do. But it's not the same, the Big Fundamental is not there every day, and the five-time title-winning coach admitted it was a little lonely without the former MVP.
“It’s a little bit lonely here at the start,” Popovich said. “You don’t coach someone for 20 years, that’s a long, long time."
Speaking on what the future holds for Duncan with the Spurs, Pop added: “If he wants to scout a little bit or run a drill one day or take a week road trip with us, we’re open to whatever he wants. We’re hoping it will infect him a little bit and he’ll want to do more.”
It would be great for the game to keep a guy like Duncan involved, so here's hoping he can find a position with the Spurs.