The San Antonio Spurs had just lost Game 6 of the NBA Finals to the Miami Heat by a score of 103-100, figuratively allowing the championship to slip through their fingers.
In one of the most dramatic finishes in NBA Finals history, the Spurs lead the Heat 94-89 with 28 seconds remaining, only to allow Ray Allen’s famous game-tying three-pointer with five seconds remaining to force OT.
The Spurs came so close to clinching the championship that American Airlines Arena employees prepared to present the trophy.
The Heat triumphed in overtime to force Game 7 of the series.
Parker recently told Insider, when advertising his association with French wine labels Chateau La Mascaronne and Jeeper, that “it seemed as though we had lost the Finals, but we still had one more game to play.” However, it was difficult to accept that loss.
Parker and the Spurs lost Game 7 and the championship as a result. However, according to Parker, that dinner served as the impetus for the following season.
Parker stated that the meal marked the beginning of the subsequent year’s events.
While Parker characterized the atmosphere as gloomy, ESPN’s Baxter Holmes stated that Popovich went over and beyond during the meal to attempt to cheer up the squad after the loss, including surrounding the players with their families.
Parker stated that the event inspired the Spurs.
“Sometimes, when horrible things happen or bad things occur, it can be the beginning of amazing things,” he remarked.
The Spurs used their 2013 Finals defeat as motivation to win the championship the following season.
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images
A moment that may have demoralized the Spurs instead inspired them. The following year, San Antonio had a record of 62-20. They successfully navigated the Western Conference playoffs to set up a rematch against the Heat.
The Spurs defeated the Heat in five games and charmed the basketball world along the way with a spread system that included superb ball movement and an abundance of three-pointers. In these five Finals games, the Spurs shot 46.6% from beyond the arc and averaged 25.4 assists per game, ten more than Miami. The Spurs’ offensive rating of 119.5 points per 100 possessions would have topped the NBA by eight points during the regular season.
There are thousands of YouTube compilations devoted to the Spurs’ offense throughout that season.
Parker stated, “I believe we played the finest basketball in Spurs history.” “These NBA Finals featured some of the greatest basketball in league history. The manner in which we performed stemmed from that defeat.”
Parker, who won four titles in 17 years with the Spurs, deemed the 2014 title his favorite. He stated that each of his first three championships, which he won in 2003, 2005, and 2007, is unique, but he lacked the perspective to really appreciate them.
Parker stated, “But 2014 is by far my favorite because I was 21 years old when we won our first championship.” “And then, at the age of 25, I won three times in five years, you know? So, it came relatively quickly. Then nothing for around seven years. So it felt like a desert. We lost the 2012 conference finals and the 2013 NBA Finals. So we eventually earn the title in 2014. It was unique because you can put it into context, such as “Man, it’s difficult to win the title.”
In 2014, Tony Parker was still active.
John W. McDonough /Sports Illustrated courtesy of Getty Images
Parker and the Spurs never reached the summit again afterward.
Parker played for the Charlotte Hornets in the 2018-19 season before retiring. In 2019, the Spurs retired his jersey.
Parker, who is a part-owner of the French professional club ASVEL, told Insider that he is interested in joining an NBA front office in the future. The Spurs would be an obvious choice.
Parker stated, “I will always be tied to the Spurs, Coach Pop, and [CEO] R.C. Buford.” “They can contact me at any time, and because I own my staff, we continue to work together.
However, why not? I always believe that one day I will accept the NBA challenge. Not to train I favor the front desk. One day I’ll return to do this.”