Overpowering Spurs crowned NBA champs
AP and AFP
June 17, 2014, 12:00 am TWN
SAN ANTONIO -- Tim Duncan and Tony Parker won titles in their second seasons. Manu Ginobili was a champion as an NBA rookie.
Success came so quickly and frequently for the Spurs' Big Three, but San Antonio couldn't keep it up after winning its last title in 2007. The Spurs lost the last two games of the 2013 finals. They led with 28 seconds to go in game six last year but let the contest slip through their fingers.
So when they finally celebrated again on Sunday, players wrapping themselves in flags from around the world in a reminder that the Spurs look far beyond the border to build champions, Parker had no trouble deciding where to rank this title.
“That's why I say it's the sweetest one,” Parker said, “because it's just unbelievable to win seven years ago, and to be so close last year, it was very cruel. But that's the beauty of sport. Sometimes it's tough. And sometimes it can be beautiful like today.”
The Spurs finished off a dominant run to their fifth NBA championship, ending the Heat's two-year title reign with a 104-87 victory, shooting a finals-record 52.8 percent in the series.
“We remember what happened last year and how it felt in that locker room and we used it and built on it and got back here and it's amazing,” Spurs center Tim Duncan said. “It makes last year OK.”
“A day didn't go by where I didn't think about game six," said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.
“So I think in general for the group to have the fortitude that they showed to get back to this spot speaks volumes about what kind of fiber they have.”
The San Antonio Spurs pose for a photo after Game 5 of the NBA basketball finals against the Miami Heat in San Antonio on Sunday, June 15. (AP)