Spurs’ Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Gregg Popovich field questions on retirement
MIAMI — After losing in the Finals for the first time in his storied career, Spurs big man Tim Duncan indicated that he planned to return for the 2013-14 season.
“I have a contract that says I am [coming back],” Duncan said.
Asked specifically if he planned to retire after falling just one win short of the fifth title of his 16-year career, Duncan said: “Not right now.”
Duncan, 37, averaged 17.8 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.7 blocks for the Spurs this season. Entering Game 7 on Thursday, he was averaging 17.9 points, 10.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in the postseason, and he was a strong candidate for Finals MVP if San Antonio had emerged victorious over Miami.
The 14-time All-Star is on the books for $10.4 million next season. He also holds a $10 million player option for the 2014-15 season.
Spurs guard Manu Ginobili, whose contract expires this summer and who hinted during the Finals that retirement could be a possibility, was noncommittal after San Antonio’s 95-88 loss to Miami in American Airlines Arena.
“It’s not the moment,” he said. “I’m very disappointed. Very upset. I really can’t say anything.”
Ginobili, 35, had an up-and-down postseason, averaging 11.2 points and shooting 39.2 percent in the playoffs entering Game 7.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich seemed to indicate that he would return next season.
“I think vacation is overrated,” Popovich said before the game. “I mean, I’ll take some time, I’ll walk the streets some place and I’ll travel and I’ll spend time with my family in other places. But after a little while just getting up when you want to in the morning and really not having challenges gets a little boring. You can only grow so many tomatoes and read so many books. You want to get busy, get competitive again. When I stop feeling competitive around September, then I’ll hang it up.”
Popovich didn’t elaborate afte the loss.
“I’m going to get a meal,” he said. “I’m not going to think about next season. I’m going to enjoy what they accomplished this season and feel badly about the loss at the same time. I don’t know how you do that, but I’ll figure it out.”