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This won’t be finish line for Spurs
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On June 21, 2013 @ 3:55 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
MIAMI — Of course the San Antonio Spurs will be back in the championship mix next year.
If nothing else has been learned over the last two months, isn’t it that? It seemed like they couldn’t do this, like Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili were too old, like the time had come for the Oklahoma City Thunder to take the Western Conference torch. And then, they reminded the basketball world why all those proclamations were premature.
No, the Spurs didn’t win it all. But they came as close as any team in recent memory without doing so, being 6 seconds away from a fifth championship in that painful Game 6 loss and hanging with the Miami Heat throughout Game 7.
And even despite their grim faces on the dais after the 95-88 loss Thursday night, the Spurs still have something here that is sustainable, which means the Spurs will be the Spurs again next season just like this were this one. Parker won’t hear any more talk about being too old or hitting the end.
“Can’t believe you’re asking that question,” he said after the loss. “It’s been five, six years (of) your saying we’re too old. I’m not going to answer that.”
Ginobili, 35, is an unrestricted free agent this summer, and he has said there is a remote chance he will retire. If there were an earlier phase of this Spurs dynasty, that sort of development would be a deal-breaker in terms of keeping this thing alive. But they did this largely without Ginobili, whose game is fading fast and whose struggles in the playoffs were a clear sign that he’ll never be the same. Center Tiago Splitter is a restricted free agent as well, meaning the Spurs can match any offer he receives from another team.
But the momentum will continue with the Spurs for two main reasons: because Duncan, point guard Tony Parker, and coach Gregg Popovich still want more, and because the hidden gems they’ve discovered in young players Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green are getting better fast.
After all, “I have a contract that says I am (playing next season,” Duncan … [For more on This won't be finish line for San Antonio Spurs, click here.]
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