You may never run into NBA Championship Game again. But when you are down to your last game this is what we have. After six previous games with results so different you can be sure the teams were not the same, and one scintillating game that will be forever seen as Greg Popovich's meltdown loss instead of LeBron Jame's Miami Heat win, the teams get another chance to have one more blow out before the NBA season is finally over.
It's hard to believe that turnover prone, old man Manu Ginobili will see half the number of minutes, that the Spurs will waste another potential 50 point game by Tim Duncan, that Danny Green will be limited to fewer three point tries, or that in the end the Spurs will prevail.
We all know that this series will now turn out to be what the majority of pundits and fans thought since before it started. A Miami Heat win was foreordained long before this year. Even LeBron James has the championship announced inside his big shoes, ready to be used throughout the shoe world, worn by those who will never get any closer to an NBA arena than they will to the United States. NBA stars are successful in part because of their shoes, and King James is no different. Another triple double anyone?
But somehow, after the most egocentric eccentric the NBA has ever seen, Greg Popovich manages to remain front and center, just as he likes it. Pop is no stranger to the media, teasing it along with his jabs and punches, shadow boxing the world's press by his cute phrases and chilling personality.
This is no man to admire, and in Game 6 he showed just who he was. More important than the man who had toiled for him his whole career and was within seconds of his fifth NBA title who sat on the bench while Pop showed him and all the rest of us who is the boss.
Tim Duncan was not worth giving up being the center of attention yet again. Popovich showed the world who was in charge and how only he could lose a game, giving Ginobili the ball and allowing that other ego to run full court, with Tim Duncan trailing and holding his hands up for the perfectly designed play that Ginobili decided was too complex and beyond him. Because, despite the nonsense in keeping Duncan on the bench, he was out there for the final play, trailing Ginobili and available for the pass that never came. His sure hands that never failed him, Pop or the Spurs up in the air. Waiting. For the pass that never came.
It was just a moment in time. A quick slice of the TV screen where it could be seen. At the right top. While Manu drove into the mass of men far too much his superior in everything but heart. That was the end of the game, even though overtime still had to be played.
Better to stride down among the big men and prove one final time that he had no lift in his legs, no dexterity in his hands and no fit anywhere close to under the rim.
End Ginobili, end Duncan, end Parker, end Green, end Spurs, and most certainly end Popovich and his insanity for another year.
There are no more efforts available to Popovich other than appearing to favor his incredible basketball IQ over logic, reason and fact in one final game.
Now that you say it, having the best five players out on the court all game has to be acceptable now. What can he say when he rests his stars in the last game as the game gets away from him?
Just that he had to do it. That Duncan and Parker are exhausted. That Ginobili is still needed for turnovers to change a win into a loss, for last second failure, and for his independent play.
If any of you thinks Popovich's silent stars are about to say word one about the last two games in this series, think again. Only if they manage to win one for Duncan.
This NBA Championship Game is where you are going to take it on the chin one final time.
If you are a Spurs fan, the thinkable is about to happen again. Popovich will ignore his critics, assume his ego was right and that the only way he stayed in the game was with Ginobili's brilliance and get that guy in again for maybe thirty or thirty-five minutes this time.
Brilliant, beautiful, smart, poised Tim Duncan, who deserves a championship again, will not say a word. Perhaps the greatest silent NBA player in history will stand stoically answering questions about whether he will be back.
While Pop throws out his pointless, headline grabbing comments about how stupid everyone is.