Finals Scars Still Showing On Spurs

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SAN ANTONIO — They dogged Tony Parker even while he was leading Team France to the EuroBasket championship in Slovenia.

They tagged behind Manu Ginobili while he was trying to relax on the beach with his wife and kids in the Turks and Caicos.

They followed Danny Green all the way to Taipei, Beijing and the remote corners of inner Mongolia.

They never stopped bouncing around in the recesses of Tim Duncan’s head.

Those questions about Games 6 and 7 of the NBA Finals just won’t go away and were a prime topic at Monday’s media day session.

Then again, maybe it’s not time to let them go already.

“We’ll get there. But I don’t think it’s time to heal all wounds yet,” Duncan said. “We’re gonna let it fester for a while.  We’re gonna continue to think about it, because it’s going to continue to hurt whether we talk about it or let it go or not.  When the regular season starts and the ball goes up, then we’ve got to focus on a whole ‘nother season.”

It will be critical for the Spurs to deal with those memories head-on and use them as fuel.

“We’ll talk about it,” Ginobili said. “I thought enough those first two weeks and we all have scars about our careers. That one is pretty deep but we’re going to have a good chance this year to keep getting better and keep doing things well and have a great season.

“I don’t think about it every day. I try to avoid it but sometimes it comes up. It was hard the first two or three weeks and then there is always somebody asking you what happened. Something about LeBron (James) or the shot or the turnovers. Then you think about it. If not, I just try to avoid it.”

Coach Gregg Popovich had admitted that he thought about the loss every single day over the summer and would address it head-on.

“When we start each new season, we talk about the season that just ended first,” he said. “We’ve done that however many years. It’s no different than any other year. However we ended up the year before, we close that, talk about it. It’s going to be the same this year.”

And the fact is that it probably wouldn’t do the Spurs any good to try to run from the ugly memory, since the reminders won’t stop even from the farthest reaches of the planet.

“It would have been easier if every waiter and employee or visitor at that (Turks and Caicos) hotel hadn’t watched the Finals,” Ginobili said. “But we all know the NBA Finals are really popular and hundreds of millions of people watch every game so I understood it was a big thing and they appreciated what you did and wanted to say something about the games.

“I really didn’t appreciate it but I understood it. It made me remember way more often than I wanted.”
“I think that’s a…question I heard every day, said Green. “I don’t think I won’t hear it until we do something different this year. I heard it in every country, people bringing up Game 6 and 7…I tried to stay away from it as much as possible. But it’s hard when you’re a competitor and you’re a basketball player and you watch it all the time. You can’t help but to think about it.”

There were more than a few of Duncan’s summer nights of sleep interrupted by recurring nightmares of the two-foot floater he missed with 50 seconds left that could have tied Game 7.

“All the time.  All the time,” he said.   “I probably could have made it with my eyes closed.  I should have closed my eyes I guess.”

28 Comments

  1. Abandoned says:

    If Tiago Splitter had played as well in the finals as he did the rest of the season, the Spurs would have won, Nobody gives him ANY credit. He made the difference throughout the entire regular season, and the first three rounds of playoffs. His stats were sky high, and the only attention he ever gets is being laughed at for when Lebron blocked his dunk in game 2. If he improves at all, the Spurs will be a force to be reckoned with

  2. jimbo says:

    Freida, one year older won’t bother the spurs playing against “defenseless” teams like Clips and OKC. Houston is a question mark at this time.

  3. Freida says:

    The west teams are better so it will be hard for the Spurs to defeat some of the other teams like LA Clippers, Rockets, maybe OKC. The Spurs sizzled out at the end so age did show. Now they are going to be 1 year older.

  4. droopy says:

    Can the Spurs recover? Is that even a question?! Of course they can. They’re the Spurs. They’ve had 50+ win seasons (excluded lockouts) for like the past 10 years. And they always have deep playoff runs. But they will have trouble when Duncan and Manu retire. But they’ve got nice young prospects in Kawhi and Green, and Parker will still be around for 5-6 more seasons at least. They’ll be great this year like they are every year.

  5. pokie says:

    2 for 4 from the line down the stretch will bite you every time.

  6. stefan says:

    man i feel so bad for tim man!

  7. Played not to win says:

    Spurs defense broke down. When that happens you lose. Over coach

  8. G says:

    It’s sports and the Spurs know it very well. It does not take away the pain of being so close, but it will for sure be an extra motivation for the next season (allthough the Spurs don’t need that at all!!!). There are more great players who where so close, but did not make it. Just ask the Mailman. Talking about Malone, I think he said it best. “If you don’t win a championship, but you know you did everything in your power to get there than there is nothing more you can do”!!!

  9. Sports says:

    Spurs might come back even stronger.

  10. Richard says:

    I got only one name in mind this year; KAWHI LEONARD….. watch out y’all

  11. Jumppong says:

    if only Captain Jack is still in the spurs.. he will help the spurs a lot

  12. Willy Spurd says:

    A GREAT season for the NBA, for the HEAT and the SPURS! Can’t wait for this year! Remember it could have been Indiana / Memphis in the finals last year just as easy, maybe? This year anybody can win it, it keeps getting harder and harder to get to the finals. Go SPURS!

    • asdf says:

      Memphis just as easy in the Finals? They got swept because their defense couldn’t handle Spurs’ system and there’s no way they match Spurs on offense. Indiana was close and it’s gonna be an interesting season in the East, though I think Indiana should have it easy with Heat if Wade’s health problems continue. If he’s healthy that would be a great matchup.

    • kek says:

      memphis wont make it back to the conference finals, if westbrook was healthy okc would have won nodoubt.

  13. levo says:

    The only person to blame for the loss of the title is Ray Allen :-) He made that incedible 3 pointer from the corner and that was nobody’s fault.

  14. allaroundballer says:

    and also Leonard 1 of 2 freethrows in game 6

  15. okc2014 says:

    That was in the past. Time to move forward. OKC is…

    • Denholm says:

      OKC’s best shot was with harden, they are one piece shy of being able to match it with the best of the east.. they can only hope that steven adams develops into a scary two way anchor, or that jeremy lamb becomes the scoring threat he could be.. durant and westbrook can shoulder the load in the regular season and give OKC a top 3 west finish, BUT they cant do it in the playoffs..

  16. Darrell Robinson says:

    Spurs yall will be more than okay. You have more heart, discipline, honor, poise, and teamwork more than any other team besides the Grizzles, Bulls, and Celtics. I expect you guys not to redeem yourselves, but to max out your potential and achieve your ultimate goals again this season. As for the Heat, we all know your nightmare just started at media day. No it is time to continue on throught the nightmare and there nightmare is going be extremely cold and no amount of heat will change that. SPURS: 2014 NBA CHAMPIONS!!!!

  17. celentano says:

    “travelling three”.nuff said!

    • Ike says:

      Traveling three…my zzz…just give credit to Miami and review the tapes! It’s folk like you who don’t play or understand the game that bashes good plays. Refs reviewed the tapes and the play was good…please ask yourself why the Spurs defense allowed the shot and their disappearing disaster allowing the LeBron comeback…Bosh rebound??? Why did Pop take Duncan out of the game??? The Heat played with heart…give em credit!

    • cry says:

      step back three……

  18. I feel bad, Time Duncan had a flawless career up until last season (Don’t get me wrong, its not like his career is tainted now), but if he ends his career after this or next season, he will always remember the 2013 finals and think back to that Ray Allen three.