The Miami Heat emerged victorious over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 7 of the last decade’s most thrilling series. Finals MVP, LeBron James, scored 37 of Miami’s 95 points en route to his 2nd ring. More than anything, this win is huge for his legacy and no one can say he didn’t fight for it. The Spurs were the toughest team Miami had played all year.
On the losing side, Tim Duncan led San Antonio with 24 points and 12 rebounds, but ultimately fell short of winning his 5th ring. While he was visibly upset with himself for missing a key layup in the final minutes, there is no shame in losing to the current best basketball player on the planet.
I think many of us have rooted against the Heat from day one because of the way the team came together (honestly, it will be a talking point ready to blemish every Heat victory and be lorded over every Heat failure), but what started as the most loudly and proudly proclaimed backdoor shenanigan in recent memory led to some once in a lifetime basketball.
If you haven’t gathered, I am no Heat fan, but that doesn’t mean that these NBA Finals haven’t been amazing to watch. Am I bitter? Sure. I wanted very badly for the Spurs to bring one more home and cap Duncan’s legacy at 5 (and Tracy McGrady’s at 1), but I know that several years down the line I will look back and count myself lucky to have witnessed history in the making.
LeBron is no longer a ‘one hit wonder’ and Dwyane Wade has slated his spot amongst the best shooting guards of all time (if he hadn’t already). The best players tend to be the most polarizing, so while I can’t say I’m happy for them at this juncture, I must congratulate them through gritted teeth.
I can more graciously acknowledge the efforts of Miami’s role players, however. Shane Battier had his best playoff game this year, just when it mattered most, starting the game 5 for 5 from the arc; none of which could have happened without Ray Allen’s game tying 3-pointer in Game 6 to create the opportunity. Not to mention the reliable shooting of Miami’s only underrated player, Mike Miller. And I guess if put on the spot I’d have to quit referring to Chalmers as, “Mediocre Mario.”
The Heat have prevailed once again and, if you’re like me, the morale attrition will be hard to swallow for a while. Whether you are on cloud nine or the guardrails of a bridge, remember; next season is only four months away and the bad guys can’t win every time. Can they?