It’s almost shameful, how inattentively this writer watched Game 5 of the 2014 NBA Finals.
Coming into the game, I figured the Miami Heat would extend the series, however they did so didn’t matter, it would likely be them escaping by the skin of their teeth like in Game 2, but it really didn’t matter. There would be basketball on Tuesday evening.
Even if there wasn’t basketball on Tuesday, if the San Antonio Spurs rightfully maintained their tough home court advantage and handled business in Game 5, that would at once be the best thing and the worst thing this non-Heat enthusiast (but appreciator, nonetheless) could see. I’d sacrifice the increased chance of a historic Miami comeback if it meant this Finals series entered the “high drama” stages of Games 6 and/or 7.
There won’t be basketball on Tuesday, no high drama, no meaningful basketball until Halloween, thereabouts, and really there doesn’t need to be. Everyone needs to just chill for a moment, look at the San Antonio Spurs honestly and bow down.
Miami has to. They tried to come into the AT&T Center with bluster, they tried to blow the best team in basketball of their home court, they left with their spirits blown out well before the final buzzer and the 104-87 final score.
Not one, not two, certainly not three. It’s back to the drawing board for the Heat.
Meanwhile, they ask to be slept on, always, even with their 2014 NBA Championship gear on and confetti sticking to the floor under them. No matter how good, how technically efficient, how in-tune with the purest elemental aspects of Dr. James Naismith’s game they appear to be — the San Antonio Spurs just ask you to go about a atypically busy Father’s Day (for a non-father) lazily with little thought given to making the 7 pm tip on time.
“It doesn’t matter,” said I, “Game 5 is a wash, there will be no drama. It is the Spurs, after all, and Miami may lose two games in a row, but they won’t lose three…”
San Antonio gave less than a damn about how you spent your Sunday preparing for them, they were ready to spend theirs becoming champions, they were ready to close out one of the greatest humblings of a championship team ever.
When, really, was the last time basketball fans have seen one great team turn another great team into one great guy and a collection of bums, even though two of those bums (Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh) will still likely make the Hall of Fame?
None of that mattered — all that mattered was that the franchise with the most pride in the league, the model franchise of the 21st Century in the NBA, wanted revenge and they got it and actually with a hint of understated blood lust, deliciously placed on-top of spot shooting worthy of the film “Hoosiers,” passing worthy of Pete Carril’s best Princeton teams and unification unlike anything else we see in the League today, anything we’ve seen in a long time.
This is the way it should go. We wanted the old, boring Spurs to fade away but they only re-awakened and re-appeared in an even better, in some ways unexplainable state — Zombie Spurs with speed, no throw-back George Romero shit, there was no escaping this team, this franchise that was damn sure to solidify its era, its run as champions as one of the best professional sports has seen.
You didn’t thrill us all the way, San Antonio, you remained an easy target with the plain-ish black/white and grey jersey color schemes. Your soft-spoken women didn’t ask to be made fun of, but Charles Barkley had no problem doing so.
You didn’t panic when Miami formed like Voltron, when Oklahoma City, the Clippers, Portland, Houston and others stockpiled athletic but numb-nutted talents to try to out-shine you. You just kept doing you, San Antonio.
A great lesson is to be learned from this era of Spursmanship, many great lessons, too many for me to list.
Five chips, 15 years. A nice regularity, a consistency, a trueness we should all aspire to.
Nice guys can finish first, they just got to make sure when the time comes to put in work, just like them Spurs do.
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