The San Antonio Spurs beat the New Jersey Nets tonight 88-77, to win the 2003 NBA Championship. For everyone who’s complained for the last two weeks about the poor shooting, ugly defense, lack of charisma, and general dullness of this year’s NBA Finals (including myself), I present this perspective: The Lakers didn’t win. You’ve got to feel good about that.


Also, David Robinson, in the last game of his career and with nothing left to save his body for, absolutely owned the paint tonight, battling for rebounds, taking hard charges, and generally nullifying the Nets centers. Combine him with the other Spurs players of varying levels of oldness and washed-upedness (Kevin Willis, Steve Kerr, Steve Smith, Danny Ferry), and you’ve got a team that has definitely payed its dues.

Tim Duncan confirmed his multi-MVP-ness (awards in both the regular season and the finals) in a big way, coming just a couple of blocks short of a quadruple-double (21-20-10-8). He also set the record for most blocks in a Finals series (31).

I was wrong when I suggested that Stephen Jackson should borrow Manu Ginobili’s hands. Looks like he got a hold of Kerr’s shooting touch instead, hitting three straight three-pointers in the fourth quarter. The weird thing about watching the Spurs is seeing the way that they really try to shore up each others’ spirits when one of them is having a bad game. This is the only team that a guy like Stephen Jackson (who tends to literally go off in a corner and sulk when he gets pulled off the court) could succeed on.

The point guard situation in the offseason just gets more mysterious, with Speedy Claxton getting the call in the clutch, playing most of the second half and scoring 13 important points. He’s a free agent as of July 1. Jason Kidd was noncommittal about plans for his own impending free agency in the post-game interview. Tony Parker is going to spend all summer sweating over his future.

The scariest thing about the Spur’s championship is that they are entering a rebuilding period, with only five players under contract for next season (assuming they don’t pick up Danny Ferry’s option). Even if they resign a couple of role players (probably Jackson, maybe Claxton), they’ve got an ungodly amount of room under the salary cap to sign free agents with. Probably not Kidd, who I think will end up staying with the Nets (I wonder about Byron Scott, though), but possibly a replacement (or two!) for Robinson.

Anyway, it’ll now be five long months until I can see the NBA again, with just WNBA basketball and a little bit of baseball to fill the time. Or maybe I could just go out and get a life or something. … Ah, who am I kidding? I’ll just spend all summer reading Blazers-related message boards and checking up on trade rumors.