SAN ANTONIO — As bold predictions go, it was hardly vintage Muhammad Ali declaring what he would do to his next opponent.
It wasn’t even LeBron James counting out all the championships — “not one, not two, not three, not four…” — before he played his first game in Miami.
In fact, Tim Duncan finds it amusing that he supposedly fueled a verbal war with the Heat prior to the start of the NBA Finals.
“I don’t know what I said that was so bad,” Duncan said Wednesday following practice at the AT&T Center. “Everybody keeps saying something about it. I don’t know what I said that was so bad. I said I wanted to win The Finals. We’re back here now and I wanted to win. If they need to find fuel in that, so be it.”
In the immediate aftermath of Saturday’s Game 6 at Oklahoma City that clinched the Western Conference title, Dunca said the Spurs planned to make the most of their Finals rematch against the Heat.
“We got four more to win,” Duncan said. “We’ll do it this time.”
In the 21st century sound-bite media era, this is what evidently passes for a Molotov cocktail tossed onto the court.
“They don’t like us. They don’t. I can sense it from Timmy’s comments over the last couple of days,” James told reporters in Miami on Monday. “They wanted this, they wanted us and we’ll be ready for the challenge.
“His comments don’t bother me. Once you get on the floor, you’ve got to play. We’re confident. We’re not shying away from them. We want them, too. I don’t think it’s personal.”
Duncan could hardly contain himself from laughing at all of the hubbub.
“I don’t know what he’s talking about,” Duncan said. “But like I said, if he needs to find fuel in something I said, then so be it. I don’t have a problem with them individually or as a team. I respect what they’ve done. But unfortunately for them, we’re here to try to win.”