Got it all wrong with my 4-1 prediction. The Spurs made a sweep out of the Finals Series. LeBron and Co. were given the LeBroom (courtesy of Tony Parker’s French — incidentally, this year’s Finals MVP).
Popovich still has a pristine Finals record as a Coach, going 4-of-4 (Phil Jackson is 6 of 6 with the Bulls, and ONLY 3 of 4 with the Lakers). Horry won his 7th title with his 3rd NBA Finals Team. Duncan has 4. Finley finally got his championship ring. So did Brent Barry (now, he can tell his Hall-of-Famer dad, Rick Barry, that he’s got one also). Parker got his 4th ring, and another one of the wedding variety soon. Ginobili has 3 (and 1 together with his fellow Argentinian Fabricio Oberto).
LeBron can wait. I am sure he’ll get his soon enough. But only when the Cavaliers management can surround him with a sound supporting cast. Hughes is not enough. Gooden may not be good enough. Z is getting old, and so is Eric Snow and so is Donyell Marshall. Gibson needs to polish his playmaking skills (other than that, he’s got the make of a good supporting cast). Sasha Pavlovic and Varejao are also a “must retain” for the team. They got the exposure they needed to still them down during high pressure, high stakes games.
The Cavs, in short, would need a major overhaul. This team isn’t just good enough with James and others only. Actually, it would’ve been a bit more interesting series if the Pistons made it to the Finals. The Cavaliers got it lucky going past Detroit.
Stern should be happy. He just witnessed the confirmation of a “semi-dynasty” in the Spurs (one of only 4 teams which have won at least four titles — the others beating the Celtics, the Lakers, and the Bulls). And he witnessed James initiation to the Finals arena. This year’s Finals was more of an introduction of what may be the portent of things to come in the NBA than an actual competition between two (2) equally matched teams to win the title.