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Chasing Tim Duncan

Darren Abate/Associated Press

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It was, and shall remain, my favorite twist from the looniest N.B.A. off-season ever.

Not the dueling star duos that formed in Los Angeles, or the Nets’ stunning free-agent superiority over the Knicks. Not even the combustible reunion of James Harden and Russell Westbrook in Houston.

Nothing shook me like the July 22 bulletin that Tim Duncan was returning to public life as a member of Gregg Popovich’s coaching staff in San Antonio.