The Norman Transcript


June 24, 2013

Tim Duncan still sets the bar



That realization didn’t have to wait for the final buzzer, either. Duncan’s actions showed that when he slapped the floor loudly on the defensive end of the court after missing that gigantic opportunity in close.

“That’s out of me just missing a bunny,” Duncan said when asked to explain his rare show of emotion and frustration. “I got by Shane and had a layup to tie the game. That’s just frustration.”

Remember, too, that the Spurs were within one stop or one rebound of clinching the title for themselves in Game 6 on Tuesday night before losing in overtime.

Credit Duncan for bringing his team together for one more push, for making the Heat sweat it out even on a night when James scored 37 points and Wade added 23.

“You’ve got a great team,” Spoelstra told Duncan as they crossed paths near the postgame interview room, and that’s true.

More specifically, the Spurs have been a great team for as long as Duncan’s been around, and no matter who has played alongside him. They’ve never won consecutive championships like Miami just did, but even now, past their prime, they gave the Heat what Spo called “the toughest series we’ve ever been in.”

Early in these NBA Finals, it was hot three-point shooting by San Antonio’s guards that made it so. In the end, in this bitter Game 7, the easy points stopped flowing so the Spurs took them one deadly drip at a time, making 20 of 22 free throws.

That’s the maddening patience of this San Antonio team, and the steely character. The last time they were in an NBA Finals Game 7, the result, an 81-74 victory over Detroit in 2005, put America to sleep, but it put another trophy in Duncan’s hands. That’s a trade San Antonio could live with, and gladly would have again here against Miami.

Asked if he’ll be back next season, Duncan said, “I have a contract that says I am.”

Let’s hope he does.

Everyone at AmericanAirlines Arena, including LeBron, the NBA Finals MVP, can still learn a lot from this guy.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Big 12 Media Days Football Most Big 12 squads won’t shy from tough non-conference

    DALLAS — Never have the words “Final Four” been used so often at a football media gathering. Monday at Big 12 Football Media Days, the College Football Playoff was the hot topic. On Dec. 7, the 12-member panel will announce the best four ...

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Commish forecasts end of college sports as we know them

    You really have to read everything Bob Bowlsby said Monday, because kicking off Big 12 Football Media Days, all the conference commissioner did was not only predict the end of college sports as we know them, but explain with fairly ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Tour leader Nibali says he’s ‘flag-bearer’ against doping

    CARCASSONNE, France — Barring a disaster for him on French roads from now until Sunday, the man who looks set to win the Tour de France says he understands that cycling is still paying for its longtime doping plague....

    July 22, 2014

  • McIlroy will emerge even stronger than ever

    HOYLAKE, England — The celebration began long before Rory McIlroy had a chance to drink out of the claret jug....

    July 22, 2014

  • Petrino ushers Louisville into ACC

    GREENSBORO, N.C. — Bobby Petrino turned Louisville into a top-10 team nearly a decade ago. Now, more than two years after a scandal derailed his career, Petrino is back with the Cardinals as they enter the Atlantic Coast Conference....

    July 22, 2014

  • Bowlsby:Changes come with a price

    DALLAS — Big 12 Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby spoke in a reserved tone Monday. But what he said to begin the Big 12 Football Media Days news conference painted a bleak future for college athletics....

    July 22, 2014

  • Stewart still riding high

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Tony Stewart heads into the busiest week of his year riding high from a win in his return to sprint car racing. Stewart raced in a sprint car last weekend for the first time since he broke his leg in an extracurricular ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Witness: Sterling must sell to pay debts

    LOS ANGELES — The chief financial officer of Donald Sterling’s properties said Monday that the billionaire may be forced to sell a large portion of his real estate empire to cover $500 million in loans if he persists in refusing to sell ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Mikolas pitches Rangers past sloppy Yankees

    NEW YORK — Miles Mikolas earned his first win as a starter, pitching into the eighth inning Monday night and leading the Texas Rangers to a 4-2 victory over the sloppy New York Yankees. Trailing by a run with none on and two outs in the ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Angels with latest big move before deadline

    Oakland general manager Billy Beane acted boldly, trading top prospect Addison Russell in a deal that brought starters Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Athletics....

    July 22, 2014