Juwan is Jurassic. He’s 40 and was actually asked during media day by a Washington reporter, “What are you doing here?” (To which he responded, “I work out. I’m pulling my weight.”) Juwan also gives great pep talks. See Game 5 against Indiana. As the lone survivor from a draft class that included recently retired Grant Hill and Jason Kidd, Howard is still ageless. He literally looks 30.
Their rosters reflect their cities’ identities: Hardly. Miami, gateway to Latin America, a cosmopolitan melting pot if there ever was one, has an all-American roster, with a dude from South Dakota who can shoot coming off the bench.
San Antonio, meantime, deep in the heart of Texas and with one of the highest concentrations of military personnel and veterans in the nation, is led by a center from the Virgin Islands, a point guard from France and a shooting guard from Argentina. Nando de Colo and Boris Diaw are also French. Splitter is Brazilian and possibly part Cyborg.
Commissioner David Stern, in his final season, would love to see the small-market Spurs demonstrate the league’s financial parity: Actually, that trophy presentation would be an awkward moment. The commissioner fined the Spurs $250,000 earlier in the season for a “disservice to the league” when Popovich sent home his three stars and Green to rest before a big home game vs. Memphis via a commercial flight, which meant they were missing the team’s fourth game in five days — at Miami on TNT.
“Have you booked any Southwest flights between now and Game 1 and Game 2?” Duncan was playfully asked Wednesday.
“To go home?” he asked.
“That’s a shot at the thing earlier. That one slipped right by me.”
Yes, Timmy, it did.
The rest prior to the Finals, coupled with Miami’s seven-game scrap with Indiana, will help the Spurs to their fifth title and first in six years: No. In a free-flowing, much more aesthetically pleasing series to watch than either conference final, LeBron is better and more polished, and the Heat’s defensive intensity will simply be too much for San Antonio to overcome. ’Bron gets revenge. Miami in six.
For previous columns by Mike Wise, visit washingtonpost.com/wise.