Early last season some Spur made a mistake, and during the ensuing timeout Duncan sidled up to his coach and said, "Do I have him or do you have him?" Then Duncan took the player aside and talked to him, and Popovich knew the season was going to get very interesting. After that, Duncan seemed freer than ever, showing a flair that few imagined in him: a three-pointer here, a behind-the-back dribble there, all seven feet of him leading the fast break end-to-end. Now he was talking during huddles, now he was talking during timeouts, now he was slyly chiding Popovich for some backfired motivational ploy. Duncan had become everything the video game's commercial script claimed him to be.
"Will he stand in front of you and say, 'This is my team?' Absolutely not," Amy says. "He's never going to put himself in a position where it's just about him. If it is, he's going to take a long, hard look at himself, because that's not the person he wants to be."
She's right on one count. Duncan isn't standing. No, he tilts his chair back and, face blank, quietly states what he has never been able to state before. "It is my team," he says. "It's got to be."