SAN ANTONIO -- Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, the winningest trio in NBA post-season history, shared hugs. Players wrapped themselves in flags from around world, a reminder that the San Antonio Spurs look far beyond the border to build champions, as confetti fell from above. Painfully denied 12 months ago by the Miami Heat, this victory party was worth the wait. "It makes last year OK," Duncan said. The Spurs finished off a dominant run to their fifth NBA championship Sunday night, ending the Heats two-year title reign with a 104-87 victory that wrapped up the series in five games. "We had a great first quarter, but from that point on they were the better team, and thats why theyre the champions in 2014," said LeBron James, who led the Heat with 31 points and 10 rebounds. San Antonio erased an early 16-point deficit and routed Miami for the fourth time in the series, denying the Heats quest for a third straight championship. A year after the Spurs suffered their only loss in six finals appearances -- a heartbreaking seven-game defeat -- they turned the rematch into no match at all. "We wanted to redeem ourselves. Im just glad we were able to do that," Parker said. Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Spurs, who added this title to the ones they won in 1999, 2003, 05 and 07. They nearly had another last year, but couldnt hold off the Heat. "Ive said many times, a day didnt go by where I didnt think about Game 6," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of the turning point in last years finals. "So I think, just in general, for the group to have the fortitude that they showed to get back to this spot, I think speaks volumes about how theyre constituted and what kind of fiber they have." Not to mention tons of talent, and perhaps the best coaching in the game. "They played exquisite basketball this series and in particular these last three games and they are the better team. Theres no other way to say it," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. The Spurs won four titles in nine years, but hadnt been back on top since 2007, making Foreigners "Feels Like the First Time" an appropriate song choice after the final buzzer. Duncan and Popovich have been here for all of them, and it was the fourth for Parker and Ginobili, who with Duncan are once again the reigning the Big Three in the NBA. Chris Bosh finished with 13 points and Dwyane Wade just 11 on 4-of-12 shooting for the Heat. The painful conclusion to last years NBA Finals served as the fuel for this one, powering the Spurs to a league-best 62-win season and a rematch with Miami -- the first in the finals since Chicago beat Utah in 1997-98. Round 2 went to the Spurs, but both teams have challenges to navigate if there is to be a rubber match. San Antonio will face questions -- as it has for years -- about the age of its core, and whether Duncan, Ginobili and Popovich want to stick around. The Heat will brace for the potential free agency of James, Wade and Bosh, and will need younger, fresher pieces around the three All-Stars if they all stay. But this moment belongs to the Spurs. Playing a methodical, albeit winning, style for many years made San Antonio respected, but never beloved. The Spurs were TV ratings killers, casual viewers finding them not much fun to watch. But Popovich opened up the offence a few years ago, making the Spurs an easy-to-like, tough-to-beat group that thrives on ball movement and 3-point shooting. "You showed the world how beautiful this game is," Commissioner Adam Silver told the Spurs during the postgame award ceremony. A decade and a half after winning their first title in 1999, when Duncan was in his second season, the Spurs remain the NBAs model organization, a small-market team that simply wins big and hardly ever does it with a high draft pick. Instead, they found players overseas or in other organizations who would fit the Spurs way of doing things and mesh with the Duncan, Parker and Ginobili, who have teamed for 117 postseason victories. That included Leonard, acquired in a draft-night trade with Indiana after playing at San Diego State, and Patty Mills, an Australian national who scored 17 points off the bench. In the end, the Spurs made winning their fifth title look stunningly easy -- much to the delight of the home crowd. After the slow start, they had their fans standing, chanting and dancing much of the second half. Notes: It was the Spurs 12th win by 15 or more points, most ever in a post-season. The Spurs outscored opponents by 214 points in the post-season. ... Miami had won 11 straight series, tied for the fifth-longest streak in NBA history. Oshane Ximines Youth Jersey
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. A fully booked flight forced me to leave two hours later. After a nice meal in which I studied the stats of the Argo win, I prepared to leave the restaurant. As I was gathering my things to leave many large individuals began to walk up and wait for tables.You Cant Buy Class. Arsenal Forever. So reads a banner hanging from the stands at The Emirates. Although meant to be a subtle message to opponents about the professional manner in which Arsenal conducts itself, the words can be turned into a negative as a way of describing Arsene Wengers timid, and rather unproductive, approach to the transfer market in recent years. Following the sensational signing of Mesut Ozil on Monday, Arsenal ensured that banners message can no longer be misconstrued again. The word class can often be a confusing one in this sport, with the receiver of the word far too often left confused by its actual meaning from the one who delivered it. "Oh he is such a class player," is a phrase often muttered by pundits, but this really tells us nothing about how good the player they are describing really is. Does this mean he is better than most? As good as he should be? League average? When identifying a class system in soccer it is important to clarify what one actually means by such a description. Far too often in any sport, average (at best) players are called good and good players are described as great. This is why I close my eyes, grit my teeth and almost fall off my chair every time I hear a footballer described as world class. And, by the way, it happens every week. In the last week alone I have heard Paul Pogba, Yohan Cabaye, Danny Welbeck and even Maxi Urruti described as world class footballers. Of course people are entitled to their own opinion and we do not all judge talent the same, but for me there is nothing beyond world class standard for a footballer. It is the pantheon of great present day footballers, a group of players who have performed at the highest level on the biggest of stages, players who will be remembered when their careers are over as being some of the finest players to play the game. In this fantastic sport there are many average players, even more good players, some very good players and then there are great players, the world class players who would be picked by managers all over the world if they were asked to pick a World XI today. Of course there are examples of players moving up and down such class systems by virtue of form and injuries. Brazilian Kaka was once, without doubt, a world class star but hasnt been at that level for close to five years now. Wayne Rooney is another one who eighteen months ago would have been considered to be world class but, for me, is not there at the moment. However, unlike Kaka, he could one day be back to that level. It can, of course, work the other way as well. Gareth Bale, who this week went to Real Madrid for a world record fee, has only reached world class status in the last year despite many pinning this on to him the moment he dribbbled past Maicon a few times in Milan back in October 2010.dddddddddddd When Bale departed the shores of the United Kingdom late on Sunday evening many described it as a blow to the Premier League to lose a legitimate top star to La Liga. Little did they know, less than 24 hours later, the league would bolster its star appeal with Arsenals signing of Ozil. Ozil arrives in North London for a reported fee that is less than half the amount Tottenham received for Bale, but the German is certainly not half the player the Welshman is. Transfers in 2013 are no longer given the time needed to be allowed to be assessed. Social media has created a giant ocean full of tweeters jumping in head first on the deal, with many today sinking to the bottom with shambolic, naïve comments on Ozils value and whether or not Arsenal actually need him. I usually prefer to give a player some time to get adjusted to their new surroundings, watch him closely in different scenarios to see how he adapts ,but in the case of Ozil to Arsenal none of that is necessary. Ozil is a world class player whose signature captured by Arsenal is enough to make Gunners think they are dreaming. They have found a true difference-maker, a star that plays at such a high level he instantly takes Arsenal fans back to the days of watching The Invincibles. Footballing intelligence, a phrase underused in the game because it cannot be graded by watching highlights or reading statistics, is what makes Ozil so special. Rarely does he misplace a pass and if he does its because he was thinking quicker than the man expected to receive the ball. He thrives being the teams central creator, where he will be able to showcase his outstanding vision in the final third and, perhaps more importantly, on counter attacks which will most certainly often go through him. The Gunners won Sundays North London derby because they were simply better in the transition game and already this season the majority of their goals have come from plays that have started deep in their own half. Ozils lateral movement will confuse many a Premier League defender and team-mates like Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott will all benefit from playing close to him each week. For the first time in a long time this is not a lets wait and see how good he is kind of signing for Arsenal fans. Ozil will be sensational for their team. Five years ago on the clubs official website, the top 50 Arsenal players of all time were revealed following votes by thousands of their fans. The truth is no current Arsenal player in the past five years has done enough to threaten a spot in that list. If they keep hold of Ozil for more than a year they wont just need to re-do the Top 50, they will need to change the Top 10. ' ' '