The San Antonio Spurs felt the “Heat” in the endgame.
Lebron James played with steely nerves, sinking the biggest jump shots as well as icing the game with two crucial free throws in the end to lead Miami to a 95-88 Game 7 title-clinching win on Friday (Manila time).
Respect for “King James”, who has long been under the scrutiny of the media since he broke in to the NBA about a year ago.
It certainly is a gratifying win Lebron, who, six years ago, on his first-ever trip to the NBA Finals, fell to Tim Duncan and the Spurs, 0-4, when he was still the main man for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
This season, Lebron was way, way better than he was six years ago, displaying a repertoire of moves and a big, fighting heart to lead Miami to its third NBA title overall since the franchise joined the league as an expansion team in 1988.
As for the Spurs, the rebuilding phase already started, with unheralded players Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard, expected to take the lead for this proud franchise in the future.
Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker have nothing to be ashamed of.
Though San Antonio fans will go home with a heavy heart, the Spurs franchise have a lot to be proud of.
Since joining the NBA in the 1976–1977 after their ABA stint, the Spurs have captured 19 division titles.
San Antonio has also been in the NBA Playoffs in 23 of the last 24 seasons (since 1989–1990).
And since Duncan arrived into the scene in 1997 as top top overall pick, San Antonio has never missed the Playoffs. With their 50th win in the 2012–2013 season, the Spurs extended their record for most consecutive 50+ win seasons to 14. It could even have been 15 if not for the lock-out-shortened 1998-1999 season.
Me thinks the Spurs could have easily won more than 60 games in an 82-game season in 1999.
But anyway, take a bow Spurs!
And congrats to the Heat for the amazing ride to your back-to-back NBA titles!
Photo Source: www.sportingnews.com