Mendoza: Why Durant is sad, and latest from Sterling

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By Al S. Mendoza

All Write

Monday, June 2, 2014

ALMOST, the rematch between Miami Heat and San Antonio for the 2014 NBA crown has been expected to happen from the start. For one, San Antonio had the best regular season result while Miami had the league’s toughest trio (LeBron-Wade-Bosh) intact from start to finish.

The Finals begin Friday (PHL time).

I’m a bit sad that Kevin Durant failed to translate his Most Valuable Player award into a championship playoff between Thunder and Heat.


No question about Durant being this year’s best. But again, basketball, unlike boxing, needs five men to win a game, to pocket a plum.

Durant couldn’t do it alone. He needs two strong allies all the time, all of the time, to make things happen. Unfortunately, Durant had only Russell Brooks to backstop him in the Thunder-Spurs Western Final. Serge Ibaka, OKC’s defensive artist and board beast, wasn’t 100 percent and missed the opening games that allowed San Antonio to race to a 2-0 lead.

All of NBA’s title contenders had terrific trios, from Los Angeles to Boston, from Chicago to Miami.

Los Angeles had Magic-Jabbar-Worthy and then Kobe-Shaq-Derek.

Boston had Bird-Parish-McHale and Chicago Jordan-Pippen-Rodman. Miami? Who else but LeBron-Wade-Bosh.

Through the years, the Spurs had Duncan-Ginobili-Parker. Duncan and Ginobili hit the killer points in the Spurs’ 112-107 overtime victory over the Thunder for a 4-2 triumph on Sunday, surviving the second-half/overtime absence of Tony Parker following an ankle soreness.

But San Antonio will face Miami as the slight underdog after losing in seven games last year, bungling a virtual won-game in Game 6 when it lost it in overtime. LeBron James, the reigning MVP then, took control in Game 7, unloading championship bombs in the stretch as the Heat repeated in style.

But as we await the start of The Finals, what’s this news about Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was banned for life from the NBA and fined $2.5 million for racial remarks against African-American NBA players, suing the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver for damages exceeding $1 billion for antitrust violations, breached contracts and denying his constitutional rights? But that’s another story. More about this later. (

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 03, 2014.


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