Heartbroken Spurs Go Down in What Could Be Final Run for Current Group

by June 21, 2013

Every season, fans and media inevitably ask if this is it for the San Antonio Spurs. The Big Three of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, along with head coach Gregg Popovich don’t yet know what the future holds. They’re too busy agonizing over losing the NBA Finals in seven games. Per the AP: “It was a heart-breaking way to end it for these Spurs, who were 21 seconds from title No. 5 when everything went wrong in Game 6. (LeBron) James hit a 3 and Ray Allen hit another with 5.2 seconds to go to tie it, and the Heat outlasted the Spurs in overtime to force a Game 7. ‘It’s such a fine line between celebrating and having a great summer with now feeling like crap and just so disappointed,’ Manu Ginobili said. Now, once again, they will face proclamations of their demise. Only this time, it may be harder to hold those off. (Tim) Duncan is 37, but coming off an All-NBA First Team season and a vintage performance in the finals. The 31-year-old (Tony) Parker is nearing his apex after one of his finest seasons. But Ginobili will turn 36 next month and will be a free agent, perhaps marking the end of the three-person core that helped put the Alamo City on the NBA map, and keep it there for 10 years. ‘I couldn’t love our guys more,’ Gregg Popovich said. ‘What they accomplished this year was something nobody ever expected. They showed a lot of mental toughness and a lot of good play to get where they got. I couldn’t be more proud of them.’ […] The questions begin now. Will Ginobili return? Can Duncan keep turning back the clock? And does the 64-year-old Popovich have another year left in him? Parker chafed when asked if he thought this was the last run with this group. ‘I can’t believe you’re asking that question,’ Parker snapped. ‘It’s been five, six years you saying we’re too old, so I’m not going to answer that.’ Duncan said flatly that he will be back next season – ‘I have a contract that says I am’ – and Ginobili said it was too soon to think about that. ‘It’s not the moment,’ Ginobili said. ‘I’m very disappointed, very upset. I really can’t say anything.’ The coach said, win or lose, he will take some time after the season to do some traveling and be with his family before he makes a decision. But he sure didn’t sound like the kind of guy who was pondering riding off into the sunset. ‘After a little while just getting up when you want to in the morning and really not having challenges gets a little boring,’ Popovich said before the game. ‘You can only grow so many tomatoes and read so many books. You want to get busy, get competitive again. When I stop feeling competitive around September, then I’ll hang it up.'”