Rose: Duncan Stayed at Last Minute in 2000

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He (Spurs forward Tim Duncan) ultimately decided that he couldn’t bring himself to leave what he was building in the Alamo City, or (former Spurs teammate David) Robinson, or the rabid fans who had transformed the city’s longstanding “Go, Spurs, Go” chorus into “Stay, Tim, Stay.” He ultimately decided he couldn’t leave Pop (Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich) and the steely coach/player bond they had so quickly formed … and Duncan never seriously considered playing anywhere else again. For the rest of his career at contract time, Duncan has almost immediately signed new deals that put him in position for the rare privilege of playing for the same coach his entire career.

“I would say he came pretty close [to leaving],” former Spurs forward (Malik) Rose said. “Pop was pretty much walking on eggshells. He was upset with our agent, Lon Babby, because he thought [Babby] was putting something together to send Tim and Grant to Orlando [together]. I heard he was going, and then it changed at the last minute and he was staying.”

via Marc Stein of ESPN

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