NBA

Popovich: Duncan back 'even slimmer' than before

Share This Story

   
 

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.

Popovich didn't say how much lighter Duncan might have come back. But like last summer, Duncan pushed back and toned down his old preseason regiments in hopes of keeping his body fresher come spring.

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.''

Tagged: Spurs, Tim Duncan, Tiago Splitter

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NBA Videos

NBA considering mid-season Vegas tournament? Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Adam Silver confirms the NBA has engaged in early conversations about the possib...

LeBron and Blatt 'will work together beautifully' Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Cavaliers head coach David Blatt on LeBron James' decision to return to Clevelan...

LeBron's back and so are the Cavs Posted: Jul 11, 2014
FOX Sports 1's Gary Payton weighs-in on LeBron's decision to return to Cleveland...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Clippers/browse/featuredproduct/491845/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_491000/ff_491845_xl.jpg&w=100 59.95 adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red
    adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/498609/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_498000/ff_498609_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black
    adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Knicks/browse/featuredproduct/620470/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_620000/ff_620470_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey..
    Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Antonio_Spurs/browse/featuredproduct/692239/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_692000/ff_692239_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat
    Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/851828/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851828_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black
    Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/851842/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851842_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White
    adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/890174/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890174_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Wh..
    adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room Flex Hat - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/890384/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890384_xl.jpg&w=100 19.99 adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room F..