Bought? Built? Heat respect Spurs Way


VIDEO: Chris Bosh talks with Rachel Nichols about Game 1 and looking ahead to Game 2 of The Finals

SAN ANTONIO — With a staggering 27 years between teams that have made four straight trips to The Finals, the Miami Heat live in a world none of their NBA peers could fathom.

The scrutiny (LeBron James is right, he is the “easiest target” in sports and has been for years), the pressure and all of the drama that comes with being on center stage this time of year, every year, for the last four years.

Knowing what they know now gives the Heat an even greater appreciation for what their opponent in these Finals, the four-time champion (since 1999) San Antonio Spurs, have been able to do over the past 16 seasons. 

This whole “Built (Spurs) vs Bought (Heat)” debate does not resonate with the players fighting for this title. There is nothing but mutual respect and understanding of the rigorous grind that comes in playing to the final day of the season — be it for four straight years or six times in 16 years.

“I don’t even want to think about it,” said Heat point guard Mario Chalmers. “I know that’s tough. But they’ve got a great bunch of guys over there. They’ve been together through the thick and thin. They set the mold. Everybody wants to be that teams that goes to The Finals as many times as they have, to win four championships and do the things they’ve done. They’ve set the standard high.

The lessons the Spurs have had years to digest and adjust to the Heat have had to learn and adjust to on the fly. There hasn’t been a two or three-year period where the Heat adjust to the changes around the league, reshape and reload their roster and come back in championship form.

“Just what they’ve done with 50-plus wins every year, and having a chance to win it, every year, they’ve built some kind of formula,” Heat center Chris Bosh said. “They know what to do and they know how to use it.”

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich calls it corporate knowledge. It’s something that his biggest stars — most notably the Big 3 of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili — have devoured over the course of their careers. There’s no doubt that corporate knowledge has helped propel their longevity in a game that hasn’t always been kind to aging stars and dynasties.

The Heat are in the beginning stages of what could be an annual title chase for years to come. No one knows for sure. But they have a model, the Spurs’ model, staring them in the face at least for the remainder of this series.

“For us it’s been some kind of a sprint since coming together,” Bosh said comparing the Heat’s current path to the Spurs’ long-term work. “But we just try to make sure we compete every night and when you get a chance to win, you take it. You never want to take these opportunities for granted because we don’t know if we’ll ever make it back. We’re just enjoying everything and trying to be the best team we can possibly be. And I know [the Spurs] are doing the same.”

That would explain Bosh’s reluctance to try to place the Heat in any sort of historical context before their run ends. He hasn’t taken the bait, despite being asked about it constantly.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do first,” he said. “I know everybody is going to make the comparisons and ask who would have won what? LJ or MJ (Michael Jordan)? We know that’s coming. But we keep our heads down and work right now. That’s what it’s all about. Focus individually on each single pass and each step along the road of wherever we’re going.”

The Spurs have just as much riding on this series in terms of historical context. It’s no secret. And that’s why there is no need for added or manufactured motivation. Not with a third straight title on the line for the Heat and a fifth overall for the Spurs.

“Being here is fire enough,” Bosh said. “Look, it’s tough chasing ghosts. We’ve got enough challenges on our plate now. We’re trying to beat a very good team. That requires all of our attention. We win this series, later on we can sit back and have a beer when we’re older and sit back and tell you why we’re better and who we’re better than … just like the old guys do now.”

26 Comments

  1. Explorer says:

    Heat in 6 or 7

  2. Brandon says:

    All teams are bought. Why Do You Think Players Sign Contracts For Millions Of Dollars?

  3. T says:

    Spurs are fortunate Tim Duncan took an $11 million dollar salary cut in 2012 to help keep Kawhi and Manu in San Antonio. If he didn’t take that cut, one or both players could be on another team.

    • Michael says:

      Kawhi is still under contract till the end of NEXT season. Duncan’s contract doesn’t matter. And do you honestly think Ginobili would have signed elsewhere? How many veterans have jumped on the Heat bandwagon and taken dramatic paycuts? Shane Battier took a 59% paycut, Ray Allen took a 70% paycut, and Rashard Lewis took a 90% paycut! Why? They’ve already earned their money, now they want to chase a championship or two.

  4. Billy Bob says:

    Le Bron says he is the “easiest target” in sports.
    Well…he can only blame himself for that. Turned off many fans by his own actions and words.

  5. Kimmy says:

    For the record, I’m a disgruntled OKC fan. And I really could care less who wins the title. But I love basketball so I’m all in!

  6. DB says:

    the Lakers made 4 straight trips to the Finals in the early 2000s…

    • G says:

      No they didn’t 3 straight then spurs then them again in 2004 when they lost to Detroit. From true lakers fan, trust

  7. I8A4RE says:

    I agree Terrance, I find him to be the most unlikeable star in the NBA, always whining, plays dirty at times, – kicking jimmy butler in the head, but the mostly due to his excuse making for any big game lost. ” I’m not making an excuse but…” Sorry Lebron you just did.

  8. Afj lee says:

    West have more better offensive teams, and East have more tougher defensive teams. they are not apple to apple. Higher averaging score doesn’t mean stronger than lower averaging. And often, more defensive team would win. Although we all prefer to see high scoring games.

  9. Jeff says:

    People talking bought the east being weak which it is but don’t you realize the the good east coast players left to the west after lebron and bosh joined the heat because they knew they weren’t going win in the playoffs.

    • Lovinthenba says:

      And exactly who are u talking about???

      • T2daK says:

        He is obviously talking about Josh Smith, wait…..
        Then he is talking about Bostons Big Three, hmmmm.
        DANNY GRANGER?
        JaVale McGee?
        Wait your talking about Dwight! So you meant to say east coast PLAYER

  10. Max says:

    Bosh? Now anyone that believes that “hype” about what you forced (or tried to feed) all NBA Fans & of course what ever will hold the Media at bay, well then sell land in the Desert as Land with a Beach view! Just won’t fly. Hopefully Adam Silverstien will be front & Center today in SAT.,with all NBA watching??Bad Lands in SAT. Best be forewarned. Now when NBA Players start talking about trying to win in SAT. Well, Lot of smoke smells fire, Right? Watch the Officials today in Game two. All eyes, plus replay? Eyes upon ever call, will make a fan think they are again watching California Chrome try to overcome a Horse that was bred with a longer gait, to go the mile & half of the Belmont Track. Did not race in the Derby, or Preakness, FAIR? NO. SAT. Plays fair/ NO!

  11. NBA Fan says:

    Jaime makes a good point. The Heat are a really good ball club, but put them in the West and they don’t make the Finals four times in a row. The East is much weaker. I’ve watched teams with losing records make the playoffs in the East. The Mavericks were the No. 8 seed in the West. They would have been No. 3 in the East. That’s a hell of a difference. The Spurs will win it all this year, and I hope with Miami at full strength. I’d hate to listen to ABC/ESPN spend the rest of the summer explaining how the Spurs got lucky.

  12. en. says:

    Bought vs built……..lol damm miami heat smh

  13. Kimmy says:

    That’s right Fish Bosh. You do have a lot of challenges. Top on your plate, is trying to 3peat. Good luck with that.

    • real spurs fan says:

      see, this is where bandwagoners give real fans bad names. Kimmy is most likely a Pacers fan.

      Chris Bosh is a good player.

  14. Chris says:

    All dumb memes aside, as a spurs fan I really respect Chris Bosh. He’s very well spoken, and seems to have a deeper grip on reality than most other players. Loved his words of advise for Jeremy Lin when Linsanity exploded.

    While I hope my spurs kick his team down, this heat squad definitely has a place in history regardless with 3 titles in the last 8 years

  15. Jaime says:

    As a hardcore Spurs fan, I have a lot of respect for what th Heat have been able to accomplish in the last 4 seasons. Just because you have 3 stars doesn’t mean it’s going to work. They have been able to sustain their greatness for 4 seasons, so I applaud them for that. I will however state this. They have had a very easy route to the finals all four of those years. Now I’m not trying to take away anything from them winning those titles because they still had to go through a strong west team and win but would they have made it to the finals 4 years in a row if they were in the west? With that being said, I can’t exactly put them as a dynasty or one of the greatest runs of all time teams because of how soft the east has been over those years. Once again much respect to them for what they have accomplished but when being compared to the Spurs, they still have much ground to cover. I don’t see Miama 3peating! Spurs in 5 2k14! Drive for five!

    • mee(a)t says:

      They had a easy road all these four years? What?
      Remember when the Bulls were a legit group?
      Remember when the Celtics had one more run in them?
      Remember when the Pacers pushed Miami to the brink?

  16. I simply do NOT like Lebron and never will

    • Lovinthenba says:

      I like lebron. I just don’t like the miami fans. 70% of miami fans are jumpers

    • Jorge says:

      Of all the “hater”-type comments this is my favorite. You are honestly stating your opinion, regardless of the reason, without lowering yourself to call LeBron names or concoct a story that justifies the Heat or its fans being something inferior.

      Thank you for that. And this comes from someone who likes to watch the Heat because I actually do like how LeBron plays, so we are in opposite ends of the spectrum. Anyway, I hope this series is as good as last years and there are no more AC-type events (on either side)

    • Billy Bob says:

      You are not allone.
      He turned off so many fans…….and then he KEEPS doing it.

      His problem….not ours.

      • ldraye says:

        Not really his problem. He’ll still play for championships and get his contacts and endorsements and leave his NBA legacy without the love of every fan there is