Tim Duncan coaches Spurs with Gregg Popovich away; Twitter called for Becky Hammon

NBA San Antonio Spurs Charlotte Hornets v San Antonio Spurs Basketball Charlotte Hornets

Tuesday's Spurs-Hornets game doesn't have a lot on the line. Both teams are on the fringes of the NBA playoff race, with the Spurs slightly closer to a berth.

What makes this contest interesting, though, is who is calling the plays for San Antonio. It isn't Gregg Popovich, who the Spurs announced is away tending to personal business. Instead, it's assistant coach and franchise icon Tim Duncan. 

Some people, at least on Twitter, wish assistant Becky Hammon had gotten the nod.

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Hammon is the NBA's first full-time female assistant coach. She has been on Popovich's staff since 2014 and has coached San Antonio's Summer League squad three different times. Duncan, the Hall of Fame big man who played his entire 19-year career with the Spurs and Popovich, joined Pop's staff this season.

Duncan took over the team for part of a

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game in November when Popovich was ejected. Popovich's postgame reasoning for choosing Duncan over top assistant Hammon — and not making Hammon the first female to coach in an NBA game — caused a stir.

"I'm not here to make history," he said in response to a question about Hammon (per The Washington Post). It was also reported that Duncan had scouted the Spurs' opponent that night, the Trail Blazers.

Twitter outsiders speculated Tuesday that there may have been a similar reasoning for Duncan coaching against the Hornets, that he may have scouted them. One thing that wasn't brought up initially: Duncan became a college basketball legend at Wake Forest, about two hours up the road from Charlotte in Winston-Salem. Was this a homecoming deal?

There was more confusion later regarding who would deal with media after the game:

("Hardy" is Spurs assistant Will Hardy.)

Duncan spoke with the media after the Spurs' 104-103 victory. He said he was not working alone in the "big boy chair."

"We've got Becky and Will and Mitch (Johnson); Mitch prepped the game for us," Duncan said. "Becky and Will were making all the calls and I was the only one just standing there screaming at people, nonsensical stuff. We did it coach by committee and it could have been any one of us up there and we would have done exactly the same stuff."

Before it was known that there would be a collaboration, those who thought Hammon should be in charge for the whole night had thoughts:

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