The Norman Transcript


June 24, 2013

Tim Duncan still sets the bar



Respect is clearly due Duncan, and a fair dose of sympathy, too, even here in South Florida.

He got no help from three-point specialist Danny Green once the series shifted back to Miami for the final two games. Duncan had to heft all of the headlines for the rest of San Antonio’s Big Three, too. Manu Ginobili was a turnover machine the last few games and Tony Parker, on the bench at the end of a 10-point performance in Game 7, seemed to run out of gas.

Maybe that’s why Duncan came up a little short on that last, best opportunity to steal the show from Miami’s back-to-back champions. He was pushing every hot button all game long, trying to spur the Spurs against a team that won 27 straight during the regular season and eventually lived up to that lofty reputation.

“I was just praying that he missed it, to be honest with you,” Battier said. “I don’t think I affected the shot that much. I was just trying to make him shoot over the top, and that’s a shot Tim Duncan usually makes eight out of 10 times.”

San Antonio fans won’t jump on Duncan for failing the way South Florida would slam LeBron in the same situation. Duncan has stood the test of time, ranking sixth all-time in playoff scoring (he passed Jerry West on Thursday night) and third in playoff rebounds (only Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain had more).

None of that mattered to him, however, as Duncan headed silently for the team bus, his polo shirt untucked, his head down, a loser for the first time in the NBA Finals after a truly grand total of four San Antonio trophy ceremonies going all the way back to 1999.

He knows that it truly is LeBron’s league now, just as Duncan predicted six years ago when the Spurs swept LeBron’s Cleveland Cavaliers in the championship series.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • NASCAR Brickyard 400 Auto Racing Jeff Gordon wins at Indianapolis for record fifth time

    INDIANAPOLIS — With a tinge of gray hair at his temples, his hat on backward and his two young children by his side, Jeff Gordon celebrated as if he was 23 years old again. Gordon won a NASCAR-record fifth Brickyard 400 on Sunday, eight ...

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Zac Selmon joins UNC as associate AD

    Zac Selmon, an associate director of athletic development with the Sooner Club since 2012, has been hired by North Carolina as an associate athletic director and special assistant to Tar Heel athletics director Bubba Cunningham....

    July 28, 2014

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to Tour victory

    PARIS — Vincenzo Nibali put his lungs and legs to work one last time, marching up to the winner’s podium of the Tour de France and sighing deeply before the Italian anthem echoed over the Champs-Elysees....

    July 28, 2014

  • Scott says he will coach Lakers

    LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Lakers have waited nearly three months to hire a new coach, and they’re apparently making Byron Scott wait a few more days....

    July 28, 2014

  • BoSox snap Rays’ streak

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — David Ortiz hit a three-run homer, and the Boston Red Sox beat Tampa Bay 3-2 Sunday to end a five-game losing streak and stop the Rays’ longest winning streak in 10 years at nine games....

    July 28, 2014

  • The Big Hurt and Joe Torre headline Hall of Fame class

    COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Frank Thomas choked back tears, Joe Torre apologized for leaving people out of his speech and Tony La Russa said he felt uneasy. Being enshrined in the Hall of Fame can have those effects, even on the greats....

    July 28, 2014

  • Telling The Boss, sorry

    COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Before he answered a question at the press conference following the Baseball Hall of Fame’s induction ceremony on Sunday, Joe Torre wanted to address someone he regrettably omitted from his speech....

    July 28, 2014

  • Wainwright bounces back to beat Cubs

    CHICAGO — When St. Louis Cardinals Mike Matheny visited the mound with two out and two on in the seventh inning on Sunday, he had no idea whether he was going to replace starter Adam Wainwright....

    July 28, 2014

  • A’s rout Rangers

    ARLINGTON, Texas — John Jaso drove in three runs, helping Scott Kazmir and the Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 9-3 Sunday night....

    July 28, 2014

  • Clark rallies in Montreal

    MONTREAL — Tim Clark rallied to win the Canadian Open on Sunday, birdieing five of the last eight holes for a one-stroke victory over Jim Furyk....

    July 28, 2014