Heat, Spurs talk mutual respect
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
MIAMI – There was no ‘nasty’ at the American Airlines Arena on Wednesday, where NBA Finals media day for the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs was interrupted by a convention for the mutual admiration society.
The take-no-prisoners approach that Spurs coach Gregg Popovich so famously called for – when he told his team in last year’s playoffs that there wasn’t enough ‘nasty’ on the floor – will come soon enough, because that’s what always happens when legacies are on the line. But this day of podiums and pressers and political correctness was something different, a chance for future Hall of Famers on both sides to share their respect for one another leading into Game 1 on Thursday.
That included Heat superstar LeBron James, who is seeking some measure of revenge as he faces a Spurs team that swept him and his Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2007 Finals.
“I just think the one thing that you kind of always seen, no matter what, they’ve always shared the ball and played as a team,” James said of the Spurs. “That’s winning basketball. That’s something I’ve always kind of been taught throughout my whole life, especially when I was a kid, moving the ball, and everybody feeling important. If you move the defense from side to side, something is going to open up for you. You always see the Spurs doing that.”
Said Heat guard Dwyane Wade: “Yeah, they are just as good as it gets, from the standpoint of IQ basketball. They seem like they know where each other are without looking. They play total team basketball, obviously. And we feel that in a different style, different form we feel we play total team basketball, and we are high IQ. So in a sense we have similarities with a lot of differences as well.
So we’ll see how it collides when the series starts.”
Take away the spotlight and some of the histrionics that come with the Heat, and they’re not all that different from the Spurs when it comes to the core. San Antonio had … [For more on Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs talk mutual respect, click here.]