Two years ago, Len progressed to being a No. 5 draft pick and entered a preseason game in awe of being matched up against Duncan. This summer, the idol became a mentor. Len visited San Antonio for three days in August to work with Duncan, a 19th-year Spurs star — from the dark side for Suns fans — helping the bright future of the Suns’ 22-year-old center. “He was super-cool about it,” Len said. “He was one of the nice players I’ve ever met in my life. He is one of the most humble superstars you’ll ever meet. He’s like Tyson (Chandler). He’s always happy to answer any question. He genuinely wants to help you.”
After Rasual Butler worked out for the Spurs last month, this time with Gregg Popovich in attendance, he was urged to consider coming to training camp. Popovich didn’t make any promises, though — “I don’t even promise (Tim Duncan) anything,” the longtime head coach joked. “If I did, he wouldn’t believe me” — but he did inform Butler he had a good shot to make the roster. “He’s a seasoned pro in a sense that he knows himself, he knows what role he can play,” said Popovich. “He’s at a stage in his career where he just wants to be a part of something that’s just positive and good. He obviously can shoot the basketball. If he couldn’t shoot, we wouldn’t be talking to him. You got to have a skill to play. For all those reasons, he’s somebody that’s got a great shot to make our team.” Butler had another Western Conference team interested, but decided San Antonio would be the best fit. Now he’ll need to rely on the one thing that he’s done so well over the years if he plans to make the team: shooting.
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