The San Antonio Spurs are the 2014 NBA Champions. They bested the Miami Heat in just five games and proved that systems within a basketball team succeed. And with that, another season is in the books.
For the Spurs, greatness was reaffirmed. A near 17-year journey for head coach Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan was capped off with their fifth NBA title ring. The team, the best example of a system in the NBA, took home the final glories. It was truly a magical season for several reasons.
Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili will go down as one of the best trios on a team in NBA history. Between the longevity and consistency of the three players, the efficiency is as impressive. It’s quite possible that all three may end up as NBA Hall of Famers and it would not surprise anyone. Parker’s display of grace with every drive or teardrop, Ginobili’s crashing and bumper car style, and the best fundamental power forward to play in the current generation, Duncan.
This is an international team. Between Duncan’s U.S. Virgin Island roots to Tiago Splitter and Brazil, this felt like a true world celebration. France, Argentina, Italy, Australia, Canada, and the aforementioned Brazil and U.S. Virgin Islands, comprised of the team’s roots. It was like watching an Olympic International Team take on the NBA’s best and brightest. Their team formula and international spirit could be a blueprint for future teams to implement.
Too much is said about Duncan, Parker, or Ginobili’s futures. They remain unclear and if they leave the game, it will be a less beautiful NBA. The Spurs’ future, however, was recognized in full with the presentation of the NBA Finals’ MVP award. Kawhi Leonard, 22, was the second youngest MVP behind Magic Johnson — that’s some elite company. While the talent to score is still untapped, the “Spurs Way,” is heavily imprinted onto Leonard’s play. He defends well (playoff opponents: Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and LeBron James), rebounds well, scores without a play drawn for him, and plays low minutes. A team-first superstar in the making.
Go Spurs, go! San Antonio represented the NBA well in their finals’ victory. No team deserved it more.
Photo Credit: Chris Covatta/Getty Images
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