Legacies will strengthened or tarnished based on tonight’s Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
At stake for the Miami Heat is a second consecutive NBA title or a sobering somber finish to a spectacular regular season that could signal the end of the Big 3 and a rebuilding project for Pat Riley and the Heat’s front office brass.
For the San Antonio Spurs NBA Finals perfection is being tested by the Fighting LeBron’s. The Spurs were a mere 28.2 seconds away from a perfect 5-0 record in Finals appearances in the Tim Duncan era. Then a series of miscues stymied the Spurs and forced them to play a Game 7 on the Heat’s home floor.
For LeBron James a win tonight might be his greatest achievement. Make no mistake, the truly special players are judged on Championships. When you get there, you better win. LeBron is 1-2 in Finals entering tonight. A loss would make him 1-3 and would clearly show a chink in the armor of the self-proclaimed King James.
There probably is not a more important figure for the Spurs than Manu GnobiliThere is so much riding on his Game 7 performance. Aside from Game 5, Gnobili has been dreadful in the series. If the Spurs come up short, his legacy will take a hit. His struggles in Game 6 were so glaring he is having the basketball world question his abilities. No one is having their “star status” questioned like Gnobili. He can answer those questions with a solid performance tonight
Ironically I don’t believe ANY of the other players in this series have as much at stake personally as these two players do. If LeBron wins title number two (Back-to-Back) his greatness will get that TITLE SHINE STAMP of approval. But losing three-of-four NBA Finals and the vulchers will circle, driving him into an off-season of soul searching and wonder.
Tim Duncan and Tony Parker of the Spurs and Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh of the Heat don’t nearly have as much at stake personally on the outcome of tonight’s game as Bron and Manu. For the most part, legacies have been determined and NBA stories written.
It’s Decision Day. Who will wear it ? Who will take it ?