Saturday, 21 June 2014
COURTSIDE COLUMN-There's No 'L' In Team
Game 7?! What Game 7?! Unless it involves a boat down the canal for a victory parade that only these Texan titans can do then there is no Game 7. The 2014 NBA Finals are all over! Those who thought it'd barely last past four games, or a week are almost right as its the Miami Heat that where actually almost swept and dusted by the San Antonio Spurs. As one big three failed to three-peat one fab four makes five for a franchise that have been consistent for almost 20 years and are a classic, Hall Of Fame worthy team. Many critics will point the foam fingers at LeBron but he is still the best player in the National Basketball Association and his team a worthy Eastern conference, defending champion and opponent. Sometimes the other team is just too good in becoming great and here we do mean "team". When we say there's no 'L' in team its not meant at a slight at the great, doing it all LeBron, but just like 'I' (or Michael Jordan's " me" mock), there is no 'L' in team, here meaning loss. There is a 'W' though (if you turn the 'M' upside down) and these days you can spell team, S.A.N.A.N.T.O.N.I.O.S.P.U.R.S.
These wild West Spurs with true grit really have clicked again. To think it all begun again even when the admiral David Robinson left port. Now this veteran team have defied the old jokes to sage and age their way to their own fine wine. Even the vino of Kobe Bryant can see that 2014 is a good year. Not only have the Spurs bested MVP Kevin Durant and his favourite Oklahoma City Thunder team, they've also taken the crown off the Miami Heat as the king fails to take his throne once again. The notorious B.I.G. fundamental of Tim Duncan has taken his robot, assembly line, statistical output play to an android future in this digital app age that sees him as efficient as ever. The Hall Of Famer and greatest Power Forward of all time has made room on the Texas triangles Mount Rushmore for more legacy making legends however. Still as great as Dirk Nowitzki's Dallas Mavericks and Dwight Howard's Houston Rockets are in this lone star state they've got nothing on Timmy's twin wings. Tony Parker remains one of the most fundamentally greatest and criminally underrated Point Guards in the world and this Frenchmen is tearing through defences and dropping enough floating shots to give the opponents teardrops. Whereas former stellar sixth man Manu Ginoboli is the passionate flair that keeps this team smooth and spreads the floor wider than his bald spot. Still when LeBron has Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, two big threes need something more than a sixth man.
That's when a Finals MVP comes into play and ours for this series wasn't number 21 or his two international running mates. Our best man here was Kawhi Leonard who showed the world that in the matrimony of champions, a new superstar was born. Here this Sugar Ray Leonard was a knockout in eliminating Miami and defensively cooling off LeBron James, whilst ripping the crown off his right arm and showing he had the bulging biceps on D. Scoring on the other side too this man made more than a point in this finals, but also being the future face of this franchise. Still from Splitter to Green and the red express of Matt Bonner this unit is a team right down to the suit in ties in reserve that sit next to legendary coach Pop. Critics used to call this team boring but now the purists are captivated by real basketball. Ball movements, screens, box outs, screens, picks and more rolls than a breadline, this bread and butter play of a great team spreads over decades and is a slice and diced cut above the rest. This is a basketball education that the young ballers should be schooled on. This is how the game should be played. Repetition over reputation, its the work that you let do the talking. This team or the Bruce Bowen, Robert Horry or Sean Elliott and Mario Elie ones before it are worthy of their place in Naismiths Hall Of Fame. Wooden would be proud. These are the X's and O's of real longevity and success that engrave the dry erase in permanent marker. Some say this league is all about the man and the would be king, but this is a team sport after all. Next to the Alamo this team has built a castle and it'll take years to storm these walls. Dynasties don't begin in a day, but real ones last decades. The history books have a new definition, you can find it after page 21. Or up in the rafters for a banner moment next to where that jersey will one day reside...but not yet. These old guys have still got some years left in them. Its still their age. TIM DAVID HARVEY.