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Five is the only number they are worried about in San Antonio

Image courtesy of Michael Tipton

Tim Duncan, Manu Ginóbili, Tony Parker, and head coach Gregg Popovich just laughed their way to another NBA championship.

It’s safe to say the Spurs have been associated with this quartet for quite a while. Coach Popovich has called San Antonio home for the last 18 years, Duncan for 15, and the lot of them for 12. Duncan’s rookie season in 1999 was title number one and 2014 makes title number five: welcome to the dynasty, folks.

Just last season, the Spurs had their hearts ripped out by a LeBron James-led Miami Heat team on their way to a second straight championship. During the series, the Spurs didn’t finish when it mattered most, and many questioned if they’d lost their touch.

The 2013–14 season began their quest to prove that a team heavy on fundamentals and low on flashiness could still dominate the league, and that’s just what they did. Making minced meat out of the entire NBA slowly and surely resulted in the best overall record, a number one seed, and the biggest chip on the shoulder records can buy.

It wouldn’t be the sweet poetry of sport unless the Heat and Spurs were to meet again and settle the argument over whether spending money or manufacturing a team wins championships. This time the Big Three would step up once again, along with shining young superstar and ultimate finals MVP, Kawhi Leonard to systematically dismantle the entire Heat team in a lopsided five-game series.

There is something to be said about commanding such a powerhouse for so long. As well, this championship truly speaks to the coaching abilities of Greg Popovich, the man with the ironclad stoic demeanor and the soft heart. Taking a near-champion team and remixing it to become champions the following year is something that not many can accomplish, but for Coach Pop, it’s all in a day’s work.

The Spurs are a different breed of team, a mixture of young and old, stars and role-players, and they all come together to form one great machine of many cultures that knows how to dominate whatever is in its path.

Not many teams in the NBA can boast the same multinationalism the Spurs can — their players proudly represent seven different countries. The Big Three spans the globe nicely with Duncan hailing from the US Virgin Islands, Parker coming from France, and Ginóbili from Argentina. The playoffs saw big moments from the other internationals as well: France’s Boris Diaw, Australia’s Patty Mills, Brazil’s Tiago Splitter, Italy’s Marco Belinelli, and Pickering, Ontario’s Cory Joseph.

As the Miami Heat marched off the court covered in another team’s confetti, a tone of an unclear future set in. Their own Big Three of James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh have to take the summer to weigh the options for a future they may or may not have in South Beach. Thoughts of uncertainty have to arise when a team that looked to be on the verge of another year of world domination was stunningly rendered inept by a clearly better team.

On the other hand, the Spurs have no thinking to do whatsoever. Mostly everyone is coming back, everyone will be another year wiser, and you can bet that everyone in the NBA is terrified to see what happens next.