The San Antonio Spurs announced that franchise legend, Tim Duncan, would be making a return to the team as an assistant coach under Gregg Popovich.
The mere presence of the five-time champion should have an invaluable effect on the Spurs roster, but no one should be more grateful for the hire than LaMarcus Aldridge.
In a game that emphasizes threes and dunks, Aldridge is a throwback-type player, who can make his money down in the post and in the midrange. Duncan is one of the best post players in league history, and having him around Aldridge full-time will be a huge plus.
Aldridge signed with the Spurs prior to Duncan's last season (2015-16), where the team put up a franchise-record 67 wins in the regular season but lost in six games to the Thunder in the conference semifinals.
You know what team will always be forgotten? The 2015-16 Spurs— Shane Young (@YoungNBA) July 22, 2019
+10.6 point differential
40-1 at home
(only loss was to the 73-9 Warriors)
Their Top 5 in Win Shares:
Lost in 2nd Rd.
With the championship trio of Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili all retired, it's truly a new era in San Antonio. The team now depends on the one-two punch of Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan, who was acquired from the Toronto Raptors in a trade for Kawhi Leonard.
With the Spurs, Aldridge has made three All-Star appearances (2016, 2018, 2019) and even put up a career-high 56 points against the Thunder this past season.
Aldridge doesn't have to replace Duncan as the next Spurs legend -- heck, he's already talked about the possibility of leaving San Antonio -- but the Texas alum should be held accountable for soaking up as much knowledge as possible.
Duncan cemented himself as one of the game's best big men and spent all 19 years in the league with San Antonio. With an already-established relationship, there's no better mentor for Aldridge than Duncan, who can help the former make the most out of San Antonio's system and his playing style.