CNN/SI's Vince Cellini chats with Tim Duncan after Gm. 5
Posted: Sunday June 27, 1999 07:19 PM
NEW YORK (CNN/SI) -- In just his second season in the NBA, Tim Duncan can now be called an MVP and a champion.
After Duncan scored 31 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a Game 5 win and the NBA title, CNN/SI's Vince Cellini did what the New York Knicks weren't able to do -- catch up with Duncan.
Vince Cellini: So you weren't the league MVP. So what? You're the Finals MVP. That's much better, right?
Tim Duncan: It's much better. But even if I didn't get it, this is a great feeling right now. We had such a team effort out there. Avery Johnson hits that last shot. That shows how unselfish we are, just moving the ball around the horn and getting it to the open guy.
VC: That really is the story here. You guys are a team. The San Antonio Spurs like each other, genuinely like each other, and work as a team. It's an unselfish core.
TD: That's the key to our victory. We can grind it out for 48 minutes because we have five guys on the floor and people on the bench that believe in what we're doing. We'll go out there and put our bodies on the line, take shots when they're there and just do it because they know that they're doing it for the other guys.
VC: What a tremendous scoring duel between you and Latrell Sprewell. It was fun to watch. Was it fun to be in there?
TD: It was a little frustrating. I'd come down and hit a shot and think 'He can't outdo that one.' He comes down and outdoes it, so it was kind of frustrating. But Latrell played such a great game. You can't say enough about New York. With what they had, they came out there and put it all on the line and left it all on the floor.
VC: Thanks for being so fundamentally sound out there. It's like a textbook play for a big man. And thanks for bringing out the bank shot. John Havlicek is smiling somewhere because you're hitting the glass and dropping them in.
TD: Yeah, but I missed a couple tonight. But other than that, it felt great.
VC: But that's part of your game. You've brought that back into the game now. It's en vouge to use the glass.
TD: I hope not too many people pick that up because then they'll get better than me. Then what will I be? Just another Joe.
VC: What was your approach coming into these Finals? I'm sure everybody wants to be MVP and win a championship, but this was your stage. This was a chance for the world to watch Tim Duncan play.
TD: It was. It was a great opportunity. I wanted to come in here and play well, not only to be in the Finals and prove I could play well on the big stage, but after last series, I didn't play as well as I wanted to [against Portland]. I didn't shoot the ball as I wanted to and I didn't do anything as well as I wanted to. So I wanted to come out here and come back and really play well on that big stage that it was.
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