Spurs coach Gregg Popovich became emotional while discussing forward Tim Duncan’s retirement in a press conference in San Antonio on Tuesday.

Gregg Popovich Delivers Emotional Farewell Speech To ‘Irreplaceable’ Tim Duncan

Popovich, 67, wore a black T-shirt emblazoned with Duncan’s image and the phrase “Impossible is Potential” underneath, and as he bid farewell to the legendary Spurs big man, added he plans to make a pitch to Duncan to keep him working with the organization in some capacity in the future.

Duncan announced his retirement on Monday, but did not attend Tuesday’s news conference.

“He’s irreplaceable,” Popovich said. “It can’t happen. We’re all unique but he’s been so important to so many people it’s just mind boggling.”

Sources told ESPN’s Marc Stein that the Spurs officially waived Duncan on Monday for salary-cap reasons. While the move was a mere formality, the team needed to do it to “waive and stretch” Duncan’s $6.4 million salary for the 2016-17 season so that it’s spread out over three seasons rather than just one, which reduces the cap hit the Spurs will take.

“It’s not a show of humility in any sense or form. People who grew up with me know me,” Popovich explained. “I would not be standing here if it wasn’t for Tim Duncan. I’d be in the Budweiser League someplace in America, fat and still trying to play basketball or coach basketball. But he’s why I’m standing. He’s made livings for hundreds of us, staff and coaches, over the years and never said a word, just came to work every day. Came early, stayed late, was there for every single person, from the top of the roster to the bottom of the roster, because that’s who he was, in all those respects.”

Duncan, 40, exercised his player option for the upcoming season before the June 29 deadline, which means he’ll receive his full salary for the upcoming season despite retiring.

“You don’t see Timmy beating his chest as if he was the first human being to dunk the basketball, as a lot of people do these days” Popovich added. “He’s not pointing to the sky. He’s not glamming to the cameras. He just plays, and we’ve seen it for so long it’s become almost mundane. But it’s so special that it has to be remembered.”

The coach, who has led San Antonio since 1996, also stated Duncan is “too smart” to try his hand at coaching in retirement, but still wants to keep him close at hand.

“I don’t think we’re going to see Timmy going up and down the sidelines much,” Popovich said. “But I have a notion he will at least listen to being involved, somehow or other, maybe even on a part-time basis. I’m certainly going to hit with everything I have to keep him around here as long as I possibly can because he means that much to everyone in the organization.”

The Spurs made the playoffs in all 19 of Duncan’s seasons, winning 50-plus games all but once, five national championships, and last season setting the organization’s single-season wins record (67).

Duncan retires as a 15-time All-Star, 15-time All-NBA selection (10 times on the first team), 15-time All-Defensive team selection and three-time Finals MVP.

Popovich also called the forward an icon and a leader who was also a very strong defensive player.

SAN ANTONIO,TX – MAY 10: Head coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs reacts during game against the Oklahoma City in game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on May 10, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas.

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