Tomorrow night the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat will meet once again but this time, an NBA title will not be on the line.
The Spurs will visit the Heat in preseason action and return to where their hopes for a fifth title in franchise history came crashing down. After losing Game 6, a game where they seemingly had the win (and a title) in hand, their lead with seconds left in the game evaporated. They would lose Game 6 in overtime and eventually, Game 7.
The Spurs summer has been full of "what if's," terrible flashbacks, and an ugly feeling among the team that they simply blew it.
For Miami, they are still reveling at capturing the 2013 title but it certainly doesn't mean Chris Bosh cannot sympathize with San Antonio.
"I know how I feel," Bosh said. "But their nightmare follows them. I couldn’t imagine it. We were still shell-shocked, and we won. But just to come that close…"
"They came one rebound away from a championship, and their best rebounder at the time, it just goes through his hands," Bosh said of Kawhi Leonard. "It’s just crazy how things like that happen. I mean, just change the sequence of events. And it’s funny, you can’t really look at, if he woulda, if he woulda, I mean, what happened happened, and it’s crazy."
"You want to feel sorry for them," Bosh said, laughing. "But better you than me."
Since media day to the preseason, the Spurs have been constantly asked about losing in the Finals, reminded about what happened in June and seemingly cannot escape it. Even their own coach, Gregg Popovich, won't let the players forget.
In the end, it just comes with the territory and considering it was the Spurs, a team known to never be rattled and finishing games the right way, only makes their loss in the Finals bigger.
Tomorrow night, San Antonio can begin their road to redemption and what better place to take that first step than in Miami.