Tim Duncan has done it. He has captured that fifth title that sets him apart from so many other great players. With the 17 point blowout of the Miami Heat on fathers day, he has solidified a fantastic legacy and done it alongside what will be considered one of the greatest teams in basketball history.
The pain of last years Finals has admittedly never left the hearts of the Spurs players, but they did use it as motivation. Duncan admitted that it had lit a fire underneath them that could only be put out with winning the title over the Heat the next year, which they did.
It was the most satisfying revenge imaginable. One year after falling just seconds short of capturing a title, the Spurs rallied for a great 15 point team win in Game one, dominated the Heat twice on their own court, and then capped it all of by blowing them out in San Antonio in Game five. This win also put to rest all of the Heat's confidence and swagger, as they had been talking before the game about "guaranteed" wins and how they were going to rebound.
The reality is, the Spurs were the best team in the NBA this season, and every single player on their roster deserved this. Tim Duncan knows that, and his happiness after the game was palpable every time he was interviewed or shown on TV. Reporters also caught rare footage of an emotional Gregg Popovich after the game.
For Duncan, the surreality of winning the title and putting a potential capstone on his long career is satisfying to say the least. His legendary status as one of the greatest players ever to play had already been confirmed before the season had started, but this championship furthers the argument. The decision of retirement will be staring Duncan in the face this offseason, and he will have to make a decision that will be in the best interest of himself and the Spurs organization.
The Spurs have a plethora of young talent, including Kawhi Leonard and Patty Mills, and could easily be contenders again next year regardless of whether Duncan remains active.
The future of the organization also depends on Gregg Popovich and whether he continues to coach the team, as he is very close to a lot of the young players, and is one of the many reasons that the Spurs have been so consistent over the years.
Regardless of the looming decisions to be made in the offseason, the Spurs players and coaches can rest easy tonight knowing that they are champions of the basketball world.