Spurs owner Peter Holt even delayed an interview with ESPN to allow his players to hoist the Larry O'Brien Trophy without interruption, stepping to the side so not to steal their moment.
Cameras then panned away to capture the image of Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, sitting alone with his thoughts, savoring his fifth championship as euphoria unfolded around him.
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Who knew what Pop was thinking, but my mind drifted to Harry Truman. The 33rd president of the United States was credited with saying, "It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit."
For years, coaches of all sports at all levels have preached that. From Holt to Popovich to every unselfish player on the roster, the Spurs proved it.
Finally, the team chemistry experiment the Bulls were on their way to conducting in April 2012 before Derrick Rose went down produced results for somebody else. The Spurs and Popovich turned the Finals into such a complete clinic on team-oriented, fundamental basketball that the Heat should have received goodie bags.
But it would be a mistake to overstate the Spurs beating the Heat simply as an example of a superior-coached team prevailing with inferior talent. The Spurs certainly were coached better, but there was nothing inferior about their talent compared with a Heat roster exposed as the Miami Cavaliers. Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs' fourth option, never had a play drawn for him and won the Finals MVP award.
LeBron James simply couldn't do it all as the Big Three suddenly morphed into the Big Lie. Dwyane Wade, a flop in the Finals in every way, looked closer to retirement at 32 than a return to dominance. Chris Bosh came and went. As James watched the final five minutes from the bench — not a good look for the world's best player — he saw the Heat evaporate into just another beatable Eastern Conference opponent.
In Chicago, that message resonated loudest.
Now the Bulls must respond appropriately in what is their biggest offseason since 2010. We know it is because Gar Forman and John Paxson told us so with words and actions. Remember why they traded Luol Deng? So much excitement in the city surrounds this Bulls offseason that one website reported a Nikola Mirotic sighting with Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf at Friday's White Sox game — except it was former Bulls center Dalibor Bagaric, a source confirmed.
From buying out Mirotic's contract with Real Madrid to adding a bona fide All-Star-caliber player, all options remain in play. Until James makes his intentions known, a chance exists he could opt out of his contract to become the unrestricted free agent atop the Bulls' and everybody else's list.
Getting Carmelo Anthony represents the quickest path back to the Finals for the Bulls. Reports link Anthony to the Bulls and Rockets, but expect the situation to define "flux." Anthony also has been connected to the Heat, with James, Wade and Bosh reportedly considering pay cuts to accommodate a fourth star. Free agency affords them that right — relax, Charles Barkley — but if Heat President Pat Riley and his powers of persuasion pull that one off, then somebody should send Riley to the Middle East.
Uncertainty over Anthony gets tricky June 26 because the Timberwolves might seek to deal Kevin Love during the NBA draft, days before Anthony's free-agent courtship begins. If the Bulls can package a draft-day deal the Timberwolves like for the 25-year-old forward, they should make the trade even if it probably means losing Anthony. The Bulls need to make a bold move this offseason, and if the summer of Love precludes Anthony making his mark here, so be it.
What the Bulls cannot rationalize is trading Joakim Noah, the roster's only untouchable player besides Rose. An organization built on defense would risk losing its way by dealing the NBA's defensive player of the year, who worked his way into an all-league center. In terms of leadership and identity, the Bulls are Noah's team even more than Rose's.
Nobody wants to see Taj Gibson leave town, but he represents a more sensible lure than Noah. Gibson, two first-round picks and either the rights to Mirotic or Carlos Boozer's expiring contract — or both — should give the Timberwolves something to consider.
With the right move, the Bulls won't be far from winning the East. And as the Spurs showed the world, the Heat are as close to the pack as they have been since James arrived.