King James is upstaged as TD reigns supreme for the unstoppable Spurs

King James is a cute nickname held by Cleveland Cavaliers superstar, LeBron James. He’s certainly the king of sponsorship, one of Nike’s crown jewels who without question is the best player on a Cavs team that upset Detroit to reach this year’s NBA Finals. When it comes to true royalty, though, there was only one king in this year’s championship showdown and his initials were TD.
That stands for ‘Top Dog’, ‘Tough Dude’ or Tim Duncan. When the Spurs edged the Cleveland Cavaliers 83-82 to complete a four-game sweep in the NBA Finals, Duncan celebrated his and San Antonio’s fourth title since 1999. Duncan, 31, won the MVP award after wins in ’99, 2003, and ’05 – while Tony Parker received the honour this year. TP was outstanding, but everyone knows that without TD, San Antonio would still be looking for their first moment of glory.
“Obviously, watching Tim Duncan be a common thread through it all is especially satisfying and amazing to me that he’s able to do what he does with that group,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who had the great fortune as general manager to be able to select Duncan with the first overall pick in 1997. Popovich then had the foresight to make himself head coach.
Great players have ran onto the court with Duncan. In ’99, there was David Robinson. In the last two successes, there have been Parker and Manu Ginobili. “Tim is the common denominator,” Popovich said. “He’s got a different cast around him from ‘99, ‘03 and ‘05. He’s welcomed them all, he’s found a way to help them all fit, feel comfortable in their roles, and not many players can do that.”
And from a statistics standpoint, Duncan has been awesome. In this year’s finals, Duncan averaged 18.3 points and 11.5 rebounds. In 890 play-off games in his illustrious career, he has averaged 23.8 points and 12.5 rebounds in about 40 minutes per contest. He has shot better than 50 per cent. And he’s also a class act, never one to show up an opponent.
In fairness to James, who jumped to the professional ranks straight out of high school, he has played just two years in the NBA. His first run in the play-offs was impressive when you consider his statistics. James averaged better than 25 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and one baby. Girlfriend Savannah Brinson gave birth to Bryce Maximus James early on the morning of Game Four.
James could have still been distracted at tip-off, but he didn’t make any excuses for defeat. Instead, he shouldered the blame. “If I don’t play well, our team is not going to have a chance to win,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of things to work on to get better for next year.” We played well,” James said. “We definitely just faced a better team in this series, simple as that.”