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What Had Happened Was

What Had Happened Was: 7/13/16

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So very much about the way Tim Duncan retired felt Tim Duncan-ish. From the eight-paragraph San Antonio Spurs press release — with no quotes from Duncan, amazingly — to the jokes about what the man wore and what his teammates might be saying right now.

But there was no ode to Duncan quite like the 15-minute news conference Spurs coach Gregg Popovich had with the media on Tuesday. He was rocking a shirt with a picture of Duncan on it and the caption underneath, “Impossible Is Potential.” Popovich is famously reticent around the media, even though it’s usually really funny and he’s being asked to speak in impossibly short, 30-second windows during games. But here, Popovich was a different beast altogether, talking about how different (and worse) his life would be if Duncan never walked into it.

“I would not be standing here if it wasn’t for Tim Duncan,” Popovich said. “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.”

Here’s some more of what Popovich had to say:

“He’s irreplaceable. It can’t happen,” Popovich said. “We’re all unique. I guess each one of us is unique. But he’s been so important to so many people, it’s just mind-boggling. To think that he’s going to be gone makes it really difficult to imagine walking into practice, going to a game, getting on the bus, taking him a piece of carrot cake — whatever it might be … 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. 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.”

And then he left.


An Uber driver decided to turn this Pokemon Go fad into some cold-hard cash by agreeing to drive folks around town to catch Pokemon. He charges $10 an hour, and right after he put out there that he’d do so, he was booked from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. regularly.

Unfortunately for our friend Reese Waters, it would take more than an Uber driver to help folks in Hartford, Connecticut, catch Pokemon.


Retired Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant announced on Instagram that he and his wife, Vanessa, are expecting their third baby girl. Maybe she’ll grow up to be a baller, shot caller, just like her old man.


There was a weird moment during Tuesday night’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game that’s worth discussing and it has nothing to do with baseball. Before the game started, a music group from British Columbia called The Tenors was singing “O Canada” on the field when one of their four members pulled out a sign, mid-song, that said “All Lives Matter.” He even changed one of the lyrics to include the phrase, “All lives matter to the great.”

Social media torched the band with obvious good reason.

It should be noted that on second watch, the guy right next to dude holding the “All Lives Matter” sign looks at him dumbfounded and disgusted as soon as he notices what’s going on. After the game, The Tenors released an apology, calling the sign-holder a “lone wolf” and denouncing his actions:

Did they just kick homie out of the band?


New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul discussed overcoming injury and what his workout regimen actually looks like.

Ezekiel Kweku wrote about why it’s so difficult to measure racial bias in police shootings.

An award-winning novelist used to design Sean Paul album covers.

Chance The Rapper crashed former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning’s retirement party to hang with musical artist Justin Timberlake.


Every morning we’ll hit you here with the best of what we saw on social media the previous night. Why? Why not?





Our brother Marc J. Spears told the incredible story of Bismack Biyombo — from shoeless and hungry in the Democratic Republic of Congo to a defiant, deserving Orlando Magic millionaire.

When Biyombo learned to play basketball growing up in the Democratic Republic of Congo, he didn’t have basketball shoes. He walked 45 minutes to attend school. And once he arrived, there were many days when he went without a meal. With a new four-year, $70 million contract with the Orlando Magic, the 23-year-old forward-center plans to continue donating money to build schools and help his homeland in other ways. “Yes, it was tough. I am really happy that it was tough,” Biyombo told The Undefeated. “Without it being tough, without me leaving my family at 16 and going to Yemen and going to Spain before I was able to accomplish my dream, I never would have learned the lesson of life. I never would have learned the lesson of giving back and how to reach out to the community. “It has made me thankful. I could sit here and think of all the worst things that I went through. But they weren’t the worst just to be the worst, they were the worst to teach me a lesson.”


Ryan Cortes is a staff writer for The Undefeated. Lemon pepper his wings.

Rhiannon Walker is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a drinker of Sassy Cow Creamery chocolate milk, an owner of an extensive Disney VHS collection, and she might have a heart attack if Frank Ocean doesn't drop his second album.