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Popovich: Will be Sad When Duncan Retires

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The finish line for one of the most successful player-coach partnerships in the history of professional sports is approaching and so is the angst that comes with its pending conclusion for Popovich.

“When he’s not at practice, I’m going to be little depressed, I think,” Popovich said this week. “It makes me sad. I’m going to miss it an awful lot…I’ll think about it when it happens and it’ll be tough, but until then I’m not going to start being unhappy now.”

After Popovich and Duncan claimed their fifth championship together last June, with the Spurs’ five-game annihilation of the Miami Heat, the two sat down to discuss if that was going to be the final run for one or both of them. They both decided to come back. But while the 38-year-old Duncan exercised his $10.3 million option to play his 18th season, Popovich agreed to an under-the-radar multi-year extension, conveniently and quietly announced amid the free agency speculation surrounding LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony.

via Michael Lee of The Washington Post

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Cavs D-Wade Volunteers to Move to Bench Role

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Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dwyane Wade approached coach Tyronn Lue over the weekend and requested to come off the bench for the defending Eastern Conference champions, returning JR Smith to the starting shooting guard role he occupied for most of the past three seasons.

“I just decided, earlier than later, just to get to the unit where I’d be more comfortable in and can probably be better with this team in that lineup,” Wade said after practice Monday. “Why wait? Three games in, why wait? Wanted to get in there with those guys.”

Source: Dave McMenamin of ESPN

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Suns GM: Bledsoe Has Likely Played Last Game for PHX

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Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe has likely played his final game for the team, general manager Ryan McDonough told reporters Monday.

McDonough said he, interim coach Jay Triano and Bledsoe met Monday morning and that Bledsoe was sent home at the end of the discussion. He will not play in Monday’s home game against the Sacramento Kings. Bledsoe “won’t be with us going forward,” McDonough said.

Source: Chris Haynes of ESPN

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Ben Simmons Registers Triple-Double, 76ers Win

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Four games into his NBA career, Ben Simmons already has a triple-double to his credit.

And with some help from Joel Embiid, he finally led the Philadelphia 76ers to a victory. Simmons had 21 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, and Embiid scored 30 points to lift the 76ers to a 97-86 win over the Detroit Pistons on Monday night.

Source: The Associated Press on ESPN

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