The Miami Heat heard Tim Duncan talk about how he and the San Antonio Spurs “wanted Miami” in the NBA Finals, which start Thursday.
“We’ll be ready for them,” Duncan had promised after the Spurs beat Oklahoma City on Saturday night, uncharacteristically talking a little trash. “We’ve got some experience, obviously, from last year against them. And we’ll go back and look at some film. … We’ve got that bad taste in our mouths still. Hopefully, we’ll be ready to take it this time.”
Heat players weren’t terribly riled up about those comments today, perhaps because they’re underdogs in the series or because they beat the Spurs in Game 7 of the finals a year ago.
“They don’t like us, they don’t. I can sense it from Timmy’s comments over the last couple of days,” James said (via ESPN) after the Heat held an extended practice Monday. “They wanted this, they wanted us and we’ll be ready for the challenge.”
James professed to be unbothered.
“[Duncan's comments] don’t bother me. Once you get on the floor, you’ve got to play. We’re confident. We’re not shying away from them. We want them, too,” James said. “I don’t think it’s personal. Like they said, we left a sour taste in their mouth.”
The Heat want desperately to three-peat in their fourth consecutive appearance in the finals.
“They’ve been preparing for this moment. We have as well,” James said. “No one is entitled. This is no one’s championship. It isn’t ours, it isn’t theirs, it’s two teams fighting for it.”