1. THE SPURS ARE THE CHAMPIONS: The Spurs finished off the Heat in less than dramatic fashion last night, in a dramatic contrast to last year's fight to the finish between the two teams. (Which begs the question, for the millionth time: HOW DID THE MAVERICKS TAKE THIS TEAM TO SEVEN GAMES???)
Kawhi Leonard was named the MVP, and deservedly so -- he is going to be a player to watch in coming years as the Spurs transition from the Tim Duncan era. Here is Paul Flannery on the Spurs' redemption and the city of San Antonio's celebration, and Steve McPherson over at Rolling Stone with an excellent take on how the Spurs managed to roll right over the Heat.
2. DIRK ON THE SPURS: Speaking of "HOW DID THE MAVERICKS TAKE THIS TEAM TO SEVEN GAMES???," Bryan Guiterrez got some thoughts on that from Dirk. Bobby Karalla has some thoughts of his own over on Mavs.com.
3. MORE DELONTE: VICE Sports has another great profile on Delonte West's struggle to return to the NBA. Watch below -- timely considering Father's Day was just yesterday:
4. MORE FATHER'S DAY: We've mentioned Shawn Marion's Instagram on here a number of times, and if you're an Instagrammer, he is a fun follow, and frequently gives us a look at his life beyond basketball. As we celebrated Father's Day across the country yesterday, the Matrix was celebrating his FIRST Father's Day. Another great reminder, like Delonte's story above -- and something that I feel sometimes gets lost all too often -- that players are people first.
5. A LEGEND IS GONE TOO SOON: As many of you regular readers know by now, I spent the vast majority of my life in San Diego, and as a result, grew up watching Tony Gwynn and the Padres. This morning, the Hall of Famer lost his battle with cancer at age 54.
We are terribly sad to say goodbye to our teammate, our friend and a legend, Tony Gwynn. Rest in peace, Mr. Padre.— San Diego Padres (@Padres) June 16, 2014
Jim Salisbury at CSN Philly had a beautiful and now bittersweet story about Tony Gywnn and Tony Gwynn Jr. on Father's Day yesterday. To show you what an incredible athlete Tony was, this little bit of history for you: he was also a basketball player. Almost exactly 33 years ago, on June 10, 1981, he was drafted by BOTH the Padres AND the Clippers.
Tony and his family lived in the same suburb of San Diego that I grew up in, and my family and I would frequently run into him just, you know, at the local gas station or grocery store. Nicest person you could ever want in your community. Unreal. Rest in peace to one of the greatest athletes I had the privilege of watching on a daily basis for most of my life.