Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 4th 2014 Contents A69
Wednesday, June 4, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
MIAMI---For the Miami Heat, it s
all about June.
July can wait.
Four years ago, when LeBron
James uttered the now-infamous
phrase---""not two, not three, not
four, not five ..."---about how many
championships he hoped to win with
the Heat, it was almost immediately
turned into a punch line. It rings
prophetic in some ways, with the
Heat back in the NBA Finals for a
fourth consecutive season.
How the Heat fare in their NBA
Finals rematch with the San Antonio
Spurs might dictate what happens
in July, when James, Chris Bosh and
Dwyane Wade can become free
agents if they choose.
A looming offseason of decisions
has been a taboo subject for the Heat
"Big 3" this season, and Wade insist-
ed on Monday that Miami s stars
have not said a word to each other
about what may or may not hap-
"I m not lying," Wade said.
Still, as long as Miami keeps win-
ning, it seems logical its Big 3 will
"I want to come back. That s OK
to say," Bosh said after the Heat fin-
ished their first workout in prepa-
ration for the NBA Finals, which
begin tomorrow in San Antonio. "I
can t speak for anything else and I
don t want to take away from the
subject at hand, but I like it here.
It s Miami. Enough said. People are
dying to get here."
Regardless of the outcome of this
Heat-Spurs series, there will be
changes to the Heat, which is an
annual rite for just about every team.
James, Wade and Bosh can all opt
out of their current deals. Shane
Battier is retiring, Ray Allen may
think about doing the same, while
Mario Chalmers, James Jones and
Rashard Lewis are notable free-
Winning a third straight title could
make some of those stay-or-go deci-
sions pretty simple. And Wade
believes Miami s legacy has been
"Whenever it s all said and done,
the legacy of this team, it s going to
be a great team," Wade said. "It s
going to go down in history as an
unbelievable team not only in South
Florida but in NBA history."
Given that, it s easy to see why so
much attention gets paid to how
long this team can stay together.
Bosh, Wade and James all made
it very clear in September that they
were not going to let the summer
of 2014 turn into the circus that the
summer of 2010 was, when all three
became free agents and decided to
bring their talents together.
Entering the season, James said
his teammates "understand where I
stand" regarding the future. And on
Monday, James said he wasn t going
to let himself be distracted by think-
ing about what impact the result of
these NBA Finals will have on the
legacy the Heat have created over
the last four seasons.
"No, because I live in the
moment," James said. "It s almost
the same with my individual accom-
plishments. I never really understand
them. The only time I ll be able to
appreciate it is when I m done play-
ing the game."
Battier said all of them thought
like that. (AP)
MIAMI---Here are five things to
know as anticipation builds for
the NBA Finals rematch between
the San Antonio Spurs and Miami
Heat. The series starts in San
Antonio tomorrow night:
GAME 1 FACTS: The Spurs have
never lost Game 1 of an NBA
Finals. And Miami star LeBron
James has never been part of a
Game 1 road victory, in any round.
San Antonio---which has never
played an NBA Finals game while
facing a deficit in the series---has
won each of its five Game 1 s in
the title round, doing so by an
average of 10.4 points per game.
Including his time in Cleveland,
James has been on teams that
opened playoff series on the road
seven times. They re 0-7, losing
by an average of 12.3 points.
But in four of those seven occur-
rences, including all three times
it s happened with Miami, James
and his team eventually won the
ALL THEY DO IS WIN: Over
the last decade, no one has come
close to matching the playoff win
totals of the Spurs and Heat.
Since the start of the 2005 play-
offs, including the first three
rounds this year, San Antonio has
a league-best 92 playoff victories,
while Miami has won 89 playoff
No other franchise is even close:
The Celtics and Lakers have both
won 59 playoff games during that
Miami has the best playoff win-
ning percentage in the last 10 post-
seasons, its mark there of .654 just
edging San Antonio s mark of .626.
There are six teams who don t
even have ten wins in the last ten
years---the Knicks (7), Raptors (6),
Bucks (4), Kings (3), Bobcats-now-
Hornets (0) and Timberwolves (not
just zero wins, but also zero playoff
A LAST BIT OF REST: Appar-
ently, two days without practice
is a standard perk for winning a
conference title in the NBA these
The Heat ousted Indiana on Fri-
day night, then took Saturday and
Sunday off to refresh and recharge.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra sum-
moned his team for practice on
The Spurs weren t planning to
do anything officially basketball-
related until yesterday. They elim-
inated Oklahoma City on Saturday
night, and had no practices sched-
uled on either Sunday or Mon-
day---which, if nothing else, figures
to give Tony Parker plenty of time
to work on improving the condi-
tion of his sprained left ankle.
Parker sat out the second half
of the Spurs West-clinching win
at Oklahoma City because of the
RESPECT LEVEL: Oh, there
will be a high level of physicality
in this series, for certain.
But something like, say, blowing
into an opponent s ear, we can
safely dismiss that as a realistic
possibility during these NBA Finals.
There is genuine respect
between the franchises, perhaps
best proven by how Spurs coach
Gregg Popovich warmly embraced
any Heat player or coach he could
reach after Game 7 ended a year
Frankly, the Heat won t miss the
blowing into LeBron James ear---
and the endless questions about
"It s an annoyance," Heat for-
ward Shane Battier said. "It s nice
we don t have to deal with that
anymore... It s about basketball
and not all of the chicanery that
MONEY AT STAKE: There s
US$14 million in the league s play-
off pool this season, and as if the
Heat and Spurs weren t motivated
enough by the chance to hold
another Larry O Brien Trophy,
there s also some cash at stake.
The Spurs are already assured
of taking home a total of
US$3,268,347 from that pool, a
figure that would rise to
US$4,104,811 by winning the NBA
Miami will get a payout of
US$2,795,220 if it does not win
the finals, and US$3,631,684 if it
wins the championship for the
third straight year.
The pool pays out based on
where teams finished in their con-
ference in the regular season,
which explains the discrepancy in
what the Spurs and Heat have
earned so far.
There s also a difference of
US$836,464 in what teams receive
for winning or losing the finals.
NEW YORK---The woman Los
Angeles Clippers owner Donald
Sterling was talking to when he
made racist remarks says she was
assaulted by two men outside a
New York City hotel.
Police say V Stiviano spoke to
detectives on Monday and told them
the assault happened outside the
Gansevoort Hotel in Manhattan on
Police say Stiviano said there was
an exchange of words and she was
punched in the side of the face.
Police say they re investigating the
possibility the unidentified men used
racial slurs during the attack. Stiviano
is of black and Mexican descent.
Messages seeking comment from
Stiviano s lawyer haven t been
Stiviano s audio recording of the
Clippers owner led to his being
banned from the NBA. Former
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has
agreed to buy the Clippers for $2
Stiviano reports attack outside NY hotel
in on Finals
Lebron James, from left, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will be looking to lead the Miami Heat to its third straight
title when the NBA Finals start tomorrow in San Antonio.
Five things to
know about the
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