Tim Duncan returns to the NBA as a coach for the San Antonio Spurs

Tim Duncan controls the ball against DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers during the 2015 NBA Playoffs.

(CNN)It's been only three years since Tim Duncan retired from the basketball court, but he's making his return, this time as a coach.

The San Antonio Spurs announced Monday that fans will see a familiar face on the sidelines this season when Duncan takes on the role of assistant coach.
"It is only fitting, that after I served loyally for 19 years as Tim Duncan's assistant, that he returns the favor," head coach Gregg Popovich said in a team statement.
Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich talk strategy during a game in 2015.
Duncan played 19 seasons with the Spurs, winning five NBA titles and two MVP awards. He scored 26,496 points with the team, making him the franchise leader, and played 1,392 games. The fan favorite retired in summer 2016, and his number, 21, was retired that year.
    Former team intern Will Hardy was also announced as an assistant coach.
    "Will Hardy is a talented, young basketball mind who has earned a great deal of respect from everyone in the organization thanks to his knowledge, spirit and personality," Popovich said.