Like a Hollywood script or a pro wrestling storyline, the good guys were foiled by the bad guys in heartbreaking fashion only to return bigger, better, and stronger to exact revenge on their enemies.
That’s exactly what the San Antonio Spurs did in the 2014 NBA Finals. The Spurs had never lost in the NBA Finals in franchise history before bowing out to the Miami Heat in 7 games in the 2013 NBA Finals. The Spurs were seconds away from beating the Heat last year and watched the championship slip through their hands.
2014 was all about getting some payback, and the Spurs got that and more.
Despite Chris Bosh’s guarantee of victory in game 5 and LeBron James’ claim that the Heat would make history, they got trounced once again by the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs beat the Heat 104-87 in game 5 to capture their fifth NBA title.
The most unlikely of heroes in this series was third-year forward, Kawhi Leonard. After shaking off a rough start in the first two games of the Finals Leonard was dominant on offense and defense, which is especially outstanding considering he had to guard LeBron James. Leonard was named the Finals MVP and at 22 he’s the youngest Finals MVP since his teammate Tim Duncan won it in 1999.
Forget about X’s and O’s and stats, this game is about people. Human beings that stumble and fall but go back to the drawing board, work hard, and eventually triumph. Leonard was the driving force behind the Spurs but this championship is really about Tim Duncan.
While the media will choose to focus on how LeBron and the Heat lost this championship, I think it’s important to take our hats off to the greatest power forward of all-time, Tim Duncan. The game will miss him when he’s gone.
In his seventeenth season Tim Duncan has been the best winner in the post Michael Jordan era alongside Kobe Bryant. Duncan has played in 6 NBA Finals and walked away with 5 rings. Throughout his entire career the Spurs have been a playoff team in a tough Western Conference and a contender more often than not. Knowing that this could be his swan song the future Hall-of-Famer held his two children during the post game celebration and shed tears of joy – a rare sight for the stone-faced veteran.
“For whatever reason [this championship] is sweeter than any of the others,” Duncan said. Whether it be because of the time because I’m coming toward the end of my career, I can have [my children] here to really remember and enjoy this experience, it makes it that much more special.”
The beautiful thing about the Spurs is their team is an actual “team”. It’s not about one guy taking the bulk of the shots, like the Miami Heat. Everyone played a role in the Spurs championship. Leonard, Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Boris Diaw, Tiago Splitter, Danny Green, Patty Mills, and Marco Belinelli all played a role in their teams success.
The Spurs are a beautiful representation of the way the game of basketball should be played. Their unselfishness and togetherness as a team should be the benchmark for young kids coming up playing the sport. Their roster is stocked with high character human beings who are good people as well as good players.
Congratulations to the San Antonio Spurs, the 2014 NBA Champions.