A new dynasty

Raffy Ledesma

The aging war riors of the San Antonio Spurs refused to go down quietly into the night but in the end, LeBron “The King” James simply had too much heart and too much talent as he willed the Miami Heat to a Game 7 win and their 2nd NBA title in as many years. The King posted 37 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 assists on his way to his 2nd straight Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award. Play after play, James just took over and literally shot down the hopes of the Spurs.

For someone deemed incapable of hitting the big shot in clutch situations, it was only fitting that James unleashed the biggest dagger of the night in the biggest game of his career. With the Heat ahead by only 2 (90-88) with just a little over 30 seconds remaining, James used a screen from Mario Chalmers and coolly hit a jumper. Manu Ginobili would turn the ball over in the next sequence and James hit two clutch free throws to seal the deal.

Truly, this series was one for the ages with neither team getting a clear upper hand. This was underscored by the fact that the series reached Game 7 when many pundits had the favored Heat winning in 5 or 6 games. The Spurs’ Gregg Popovich and the Heat’s Erik Spoelstra, two of the best minds in basketball, continuously made adjustments throughout the series.

The proud San Antonio Spurs, winner of 4 NBA titles in the last 15 years, had many chances to get their 5th title. Their biggest opportunity came in Game 6 when the Spurs were just a few seconds away notching title No. 5. Two 3-point shots by James and Rey Allen in the dying moments forced overtime and the Heat outlasted the Spurs to force a deciding Game 7.

The Spurs were the emotional favorites in this series. Not only were they the underdogs but many were rooting for the 37-year old Tim Duncan to get one more ring before he retires. A lot of fans were also hoping that Ginobili, who turns 36 next month, and Tony Parker (31) would get one last shot at glory. Ginobili becomes a free agent and this may be the end of San Antonio’s version of the Big Three. Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili were instrumental in making the Spurs a perennial contender over the last 10 years and one of the winningest professional sports franchise over that span.

The Spurs suffered their first Finals loss but even in defeat, showed their class as they recognized the victorious Heat.

In a way, Duncan’s prophecy has finally come true. When the Spurs swept James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2007 Finals, Duncan had a few words for James. He intimated that the league would one day belong to James. That day has definitely come.

This 2nd title is a vindication for James and the Heat organization. It can be recalled that the Heat formed their Big Three when they acquired James and Chris Bosh in free agency in 2010 to join Dwyane Wade. The goal was simple—win multiple championships. A lot of naysayers contended that you can’t build a championship caliber team overnight. And when the Big Three lost their first Finals series in 2011, the Heat received a lot of flak.

Even when they won the title a year later, pundits were still knocking them. Now that they’re back-to-back champs, doubters will have to shut up.

Without a doubt, The Heat are the best team in basketball with the best player on the planet. They are a new dynasty built to win, for a long, long time. The NBA title belongs to James and the Miami Heat and by the looks of it, they will be holding that trophy over the next few years.
raffyrledesma@yahoo.com

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