Demar DeRozan’s time in San Antonio is likely numbered, but he created lasting memories with his coaches and teammates. A few times, DeRozan was fortunate to experience Tim Duncan as a head coach and shared what the experience was like.
Tim Duncan as head coach
Duncan retired as an All-Time great for the Spurs. It’s no question that should he return to basketball as a Head Coach it would be in San Antonio. Duncan doesn't seem to be entirely sold on the idea but still frequents team practices from time to time. His knowledge of the game and his vast experience would be valuable to young players and the team's big men. DeRozan and the Spurs got a front-row seat to the Tim Duncan experience this past season.
Head coach Gregg Popovich was out during the game against the Charlotte Hornets and Duncan was chosen to take over. DeRozan shared what it’s like with Tim as coach in his interview with Shannon Sharpe.
“At halftime, everyone was ready for the typical lashing and cussing that comes after poor first half performances, but instead they just got something more along the lines of a “calming speech” Tim was known for as a player. 'Come on, guys. Let’s just get this win. Pull it together, Bring it in. 1, 2, 3.'”
DeMar DeRozan, Club Shay Shay
The Spurs were able to pull it off despite Duncan’s relaxed and robotic approach to halftime speech. He was hired as one of the assistant coaches of Coach Pop but it was common knowledge that he would only help briefly. In November 2020, according to reports, he permanently left the coaching staff.
What’s next for Spurs and DeRozan?
DeRozan said he'd “love to have the opportunity to play at home,” but with the Westbrook trade, the only thing the Lakers could offer are the Mid-Level or the Veteran Minimum. Can't believe a player of his caliber would take such a huge discount to be the 4th option on the Lakers. He's been mentioned in Mavericks scenarios, and even a return to Toronto has been floated out there. Whatever it may be, he won't be coached by anyone like Tim Duncan.