In the aftermath of the Miami Heat's championship over the Oklahoma City Thunder, a few topics will dominate the conversation, and deservedly so.
Finals MVP LeBron James, of course, had the widest smile, the most compelling story and the best post-series quote. "It's about damn time," he said after claiming his first NBA title in his nine seasons. "It's about damn time."
Hobbled veteran Mike Miller, once a Rookie of the Year, seemingly came out of nowhere to make seven three-pointers in Thursday's clinching Game 5. Shane Battier was almost as ridiculous from long range the entire series.
Dwyane Wade was a consistent sidekick for James, and afterward he said the victory trumped his title in 2006 because of his recent personal and professional turmoil.
The Thunder's Russell Westbrook was a miserable 4 for 20, with a bunch of terrible decisions, in the loss.
More? How about Pat Riley?
Talk about graying gracefully, and brilliantly. The Showtime Lakers. The defense-oriented, older Lakers. The bruising Knicks. His Heat of 2006.
While the younger generation of NBA executives receives most of the attention these days, Riley, a quiet, intense student of statistical analysis long before "analytics" became part of the lexicon, continues to evolve with his sport.
And how much did the Heat president regret the organization's tacky and premature "celebration" two offseasons ago following the successful romancing of James and Chris Bosh?
Oh, yeah. A lot. Maybe someday he'll write a book about it.
What to do
Baseball, Giants at A's, 4:15 p.m., O.co Coliseum: Madison Bumgarner has allowed just two runs in 15 2/3 innings over his last two starts.
Who will win the NBA title next season?
Vote above or leave your comments in the comments field; or go to www.sacbee.com/sports
Should baseball unify its two leagues?
Yes, with the DH: 23%
Yes, without the DH: 26%
Total votes: 177
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