Hamilton: In and After Game 7 of the NBA Finals, History Had Repeated Itself

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2013 NBA Champions – Miami Heat

MIAMI — As LeBron James stood at center court of the American Airlines Arena, he gazed up into the heavens and was bathed in white confetti in front of Bill Russell and David Stern. The king—now twice crowned—had a message for the world.

“I’m LeBron James,” he said. ”I’m from Akron, Ohio.”

And as he stood tall, after a hard fought, seven-game battle in which he avenged his first Finals loss against Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan six years ago—he told the world.

“I ain’t got no worries.”

Not one, not two, and not three…

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Hamilton: Tony Parker’s Story Over Dawn Dinner Helps Spurs Erase Game 6 Memory

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Tony Parker

MIAMI — Instead of a championship celebration complete with champagne and t-shirts, it was unsweetened iced tea and sparkling water for the San Antonio Spurs.

Sometime after 1:00AM on Wednesday morning in Miami, after the Spurs sputtered, and after Ray Allen and LeBron James combined to ensure that the Miami Heat would live to see a Game 7, the Spurs collectively participated in a scene that is customary in Europe but not so much in the NBA.

They got together, as a team, and they had a therapeutic dinner after the game. There, Tony Parker told his teammates a story of great failure and great triumph.

Video: Hamilton recaps memorable Game 6 of NBA Finals

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While the NBA Finals series between the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat has been close, nearly all of the games had not.

Until Game 6, which became one of the memorable games in NBA Finals history.

Hamilton: LeBron James Scored a Game 6 Win, But Gregg Popovich Assisted

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Gregg Popovich

MIAMI — As chants of “Let’s Go Heat!” rained throughout the corridors of AmericanAirlines Arena, Armando, holding the hand of his female companion, led her through a sea of fellow Miami Heat fans. Euphoric.

Shoulder-to-shoulder with strangers united by a white hot love for their Heat, they were packed as tightly into the arena’s Northwest stairwell as a bag of cotton balls.

“Wow. Wow. Wow,” he said. “I can’t believe what I just saw.”

What he saw was a clash of two champions and two teams for the ages.

And what he saw was one of those teams—his team—simply refuse to meekly cede the throne that they endured tremendous scrutiny and heartbreak to capture.

What we also saw, sadly, was one of the greatest coaches in NBA history make one small decision that may be talked about for years to come.

And now, what we will see is a Game 7 that will result in Tim Duncan either capturing his fifth title or LeBron James his second.

History. Legacy. Legitimacy and glory. Up for grabs.

It simply gets no better.

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Video: Hamilton on coach Jason Kidd – good move for Nets?

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It used to be that the path from player to coach in the NBA required at least a couple of years as an assistant, executive or broadcaster.

Not anymore. Jason Kidd has shattered that notion, making the switch from player to coach in less than a month when he was hired by the Brooklyn Nets, the same franchise he led to consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals 10 years ago.

Kidd is one of the smartest players in league history, and has seen it all over a 19-year career. But the fact remains that he has no experience as a coach of any kind, which makes his chances for success one of the NBA’s great unknowns.