- Obama downplays IRS scandal, blames Obamacare rollout on ‘outdated’ agencies
- Pregnancies decline overall, up among older women
- Pentagon plans to destroy Syrian chemical arms on ship at sea
- Paris Metro issues ‘politeness manual’ to improve passengers’ behavior
- Justin Bieber, crew detained at Australian airport in drug search
- Lee Rigby trial: Muslim who machete-hacked soldier calls it ‘humane’ kill
- GM ending Chevy sales in Europe to focus on Opel and Vauxhall
- Putin’s diplomats to U.S. busted for living high life off $1.5M bilked from Medicaid
- Happy Meal: Couple goes to McDonald’s, leaves with bag packed with cash
- Boehner: It took me 3 to 4 hours to sign up for Obamacare
Spurs rely on togetherness to overcome collapse
MIAMI (AP) - Through heartbreaking losses and hair-raising victories, through Game 7s of the NBA Finals and Game 46s of the regular season, through contract extension after contract extension, what has defined these San Antonio Spurs more than anything else is the simple fact that they stick together.
Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich have been the heart, the soul, the backbone and the brains of this operation for more than a decade. Through an unprecedented era of change and volatility, these Spurs have stayed in San Antonio, stayed together.
Coming off the most gut-wrenching defeat they have ever suffered, that unity, that togetherness, that unparalleled bond is more important now than it ever has been.
A group that thought it had seen everything the NBA could throw at it was shaken to the core when it experienced something totally new _ when the Spurs gave away a five-point lead with 21 seconds to play in Game 6 against the Miami Heat and missed the chance to secure the franchise’s fifth championship.
“We’ve never been through a situation like this,” Ginobili said on Wednesday. “In 10-plus years we’ve been through basically everything. But I was trying to think. Not like this. So hopefully we are up to the challenge. We know that we can play better, and we have to.”
Game 7 is Thursday night in Miami, only because the end of Game 6 went so horribly wrong for San Antonio.
The Spurs were up 13 points early in the fourth quarter and led 94-89 with 21 seconds to go. This team that had closed out so many of these games over the years with its cold-blooded precision was ready for perhaps its crowning achievement _ dethroning LeBron James and the defending champion Heat on their home floor, no less.
Then James hit a 3-pointer, Kawhi Leonard missed a free throw, and Ray Allen drilled another 3 to force overtime. The Heat held on to win it and force a Game 7, and a team that has always prided itself on not letting the emotions of the moment overwhelm them looked totally defeated, totally devastated.
“Still down,” Ginobili said a day later. “After a blow like that, it’s not easy to get back up.
“But after 12 hours now, I feel a little better knowing that we have another chance, that we can do so many things better. And that we are in a Game 7 of the NBA Finals. There’s not much more than that. We are still in a great situation. We are where we wanted to be at the beginning of the season, still.”
In an effort to keep the team together and not dwell on the opportunity that just slipped away, the Spurs went to dinner _ together, of course _ after Game 6 to share some stories and clear their heads.
“It helped,” Duncan said. “It did. The other option is a bunch of us go back to our rooms and sit in our rooms and sit there by ourselves and beat yourself up. So it’s always good to be around teammates and kind of get some stuff out in the open. We did exactly that.
“We’ll be ready to rock.”
This is not the first difficult defeat the Spurs have ever had. There was Derek Fisher’s prayer of a shot with 0.4 seconds on the clock in Game 5 of the 2004 Western Conference semifinals. There was Ginobili’s foul on Dirk Nowitzki late in Game 7 of the 2006 Western Conference semifinals that allowed the Mavericks to force overtime and eventually beat the Spurs. And there was a home loss against the Detroit Pistons in Game 6 of the 2005 NBA Finals that pushed the series to seven.
Why such hatred toward America's freedom of religion?
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality: liberal group
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- NAPOLITANO: Pope Francis should be saving souls, not pocketbooks
- Blast of winter weather heads to D.C. area
- GOP launches candidate training: How to talk to women
- Russian diplomats busted bilking $1.5 million from Medicaid
- CARSON: Getting to the top by starting at the bottom
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
Understanding economic events with a free market explanation
John Wood illustrates a new American politics, and the path to get there.
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
White House pets gone wild!