The NBA Finals were short-but-sweet and shocking because it ended in five games, so we’ll keep most of the attention on the teams from San Antonio and Miami.
• Big series for Leonard: Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard was a deserving Finals MVP. And, as his former college coach, San Diego State’s Steve Fisher, reminded me during our chat Friday, the scariest thing is that he’s 22 years old. ESPN radio analyst and former Kings guard Jon Barry described the former Aztecs star as having “frying pan hands.” His mitts are enormous, for sure.
• Both teams are winners: These are two of the classiest organizations in of sports. Yes, that was Heat president Pat Riley approaching Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and congratulating him on the court while the celebrated heated up.
• Duncan breaks out: Spurs forward Tim Duncan went through a nasty divorce just prior to last year’s NBA Finals, which could have added to his offseason misery. But this season we have seen Timmy unleashed, far more open and engaging with the media than any time in the past. His postgame interview late Sunday, with his two children at his side, was precious.
• Small market rules: San Antonio’s Spurs have won five championships since 1999, in the fourth-smallest NBA market. So tell me again: When was the last time the New York Knicks won a title?
I’ll write more about the Spurs for Tuesday’s print editions of The Bee, but here’s a hint: Popovich belongs in the Hall of Fame – it’s long overdue – and is the ridiculously obvious choice to take over as USA Basketball coach when Mike Krzyzewski gives it up.
Call The Bee’s Ailene Voisin, (916) 321-1208.