Inside the Spurs practice facility everyone had already gone home for the summer, except for two friends that had shared quite the journey. As Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan awkwardly nodded their goodbyes, they vowed to hang out over the summer, but both men knew that probably wouldn’t happen.

After an almost twenty-year relationship that saw enough battles to last two lifetimes, saying goodbye would be their hardest one.

Coach and player. Best friends.

Coach and player. Best friends.

“You still have to sign my yearbook,” said Duncan.

“Timmy, I already did,” replied Popovich, quickly swiping towards his eyes while slightly hiding his face.

With their 12th and final goodbye of the day finished they parted ways and drove off. Once out of sight, Duncan pulled his Ford Taurus Sport to the side of the road and grabbed the yearbook out of his satchel, frantically flipping through the pages. Finally he found what he had been looking for. Popovich’s quote.

“Dear Tim. Good games. Have a great summer.”

To outsiders, it might have seemed the vague sentiments of a stranger, or at best a middle school classmate. But to Duncan, they were the wise words of a true basketball friend and mentor, rife with intelligence and worldly acumen that mere mortals could scarcely begin to understand.

We can't play sports*, but we can make jokes about them!

*Two of our writers hit a home run** once
**It was in a video game.