It was a surprise this summer when Tim Duncan, the San Antonio Spurs franchise player who ended his playing career in 2016, came out of retirement to become an assistant coach for the Spurs. You don’t come out of retirement to do something if you’re not going to take it seriously, which is exactly what Duncan is doing as training camp begins.
Duncan apparently decided that watching Spurs players run wind sprints wasn’t enough involvement for him. So he decided to run with them. Well, kind of.
Duncan is 43 and isn’t being paid to run at top speed, so he’s taking it slightly easier and running off to the side. But the dedication is apparent, especially since he could be sitting down and watching them.
Running wind sprints with Spurs players isn’t technically part of his job, but head coach Gregg Popovich told the San Antonio Express-News that just the presence of the five-time champion on his staff will help make everyone better — not just the players.
"It's good for players, for coaches, for staff just having him around," Popovich said to the Express-News. "He's going to contribute in ways that I don't even know about – kind of like a player that doesn't show in the stats but makes you better. I don't think he's going to ponder over seven hours worth of film or anything like that ... [but] his presence will be invaluable."
Duncan running sprints with his players is a great way to start earning their respect. Not every coach has to be a film guy, after all.
More from Yahoo Sports: