Southwest Notes: Duncan, Finch, Grizzlies

Newly retired Tim Duncan penned a letter, which was posted to the Spursofficial website, expressing his gratitude for how teammates, opponents and fans treated him during his storied career. “If asked to write a script for my career 19 years ago, there is no way I would’ve been able to dream up this journey,” Duncan wrote. “I stand here at the end of this ride and look back in awe of what I’ve experienced. The wins and losses will be remembered, but what I’ll remember most are the people:

The fans inside the arena and out, the staff and coaches who pushed me and held me together, the teammates [and even opponents] who will be lifelong friends, sharing my ups and downs with family and close friends, and, most importantly, the snapshots of my kids growing up and reveling in watching Dad work. That is what I will cherish most. Thank you to the city of San Antonio for the love and the support over these years. Thank you to the fans all over the world.”

A true class act in every sense of the word, Duncan’s presence will certainly be missed this season. Here’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • The Rockets and assistant coach Chris Finch have parted ways, Zach Lowe of relays (Twitter links). Finch is highly regarded around the league and should be on numerous teams’ coaching radar for future openings, Lowe adds.
  • One of Grizzlies coach David Fizdale‘s first tasks will be to sort out the team’s backup point guard situation, with a number of inexperienced players likely to play major roles this season, Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal writes. Speaking about Wade Baldwin and Andrew Harrison, two players expected to compete for the right to be Mike Conley‘s backup, Fizdale told Tillery, “All I know is that I’m going to let those guys play with a lot of freedom. I’m going to try to put them in situations to be successful. We’re going to trust them. There’s a chance for both of those guys to play for me during the year. I’m going to make sure they are very comfortable, very confident and that they have a lot of clarity. Let’s see what happens.

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