1999 NBA Finals - Spurs Defeat Knicks
The 1999 NBA season was shortened due to a labor dispute that led to a lockout, canceling the first 3 months of the season, literally making this the 1999 NBA Finals.
The NBA would have teams play 50 games, and a normal playoffs. The San Antonio Spurs had the fearsome "Twin Towers", veteran center David Robinson and second year star forward Tim Duncan. The Spurs carried a 37-13 record, the best in the Western Conference.
Meanwhile, the Knicks had a tumultuous regular season in which they went 27-23 and sneaked into the playoffs as the eighth and final seed. However, the Knicks would upset the Miami Heat, Atlanta Hawks and the Indiana Pacers en route to becoming the first 8th seed in NBA history to reach the Finals.
The Spurs won the series 4 games to 1. Spurs forward Tim Duncan was named the Most Valuable Player of the finals. On June 25th In Game 5, with 47 seconds to go, it was Avery Johnson who hit the game-winner. Followed by a Latrell Sprewell miss that would have sent the series back to San Antonio, as the Knicks couldn't continue their Cinderella run.
Garden Variety Shootout
By Alex Sachare
In Game 5 of the 1999 Finals in Madison Square Garden, San Antonio’s Tim Duncan and New York’s Latrell Sprewell staged an all-out shootout. Sprewell won the battle, but Duncan won the war
One goes about his business with a cool efficiency, a placid demeanor that belies the passion to win smoldering inside. The other wears his emotions on his sleeve, or rather the shoulder strap of his jersey, but that same passion to succeed is readily apparent to all.
Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs and Latrell Sprewell of the New York Knicks, two contrasting players and personalities, staged one of the most exciting duels in NBA Finals history in the second half of Game 5 seven years ago. Though Sprewell outscored Duncan 25-15 in the half and 35-31 for the game, it was Duncan’s taller, deeper Spurs who emerged victorious, 78-77, to wrap up the 1999 NBA championship, the only one ever won by a former ABA team.
The Admiral settles accounts with his critics, sizes up his teammates and savors his long-awaited championship
By David Robinson with Phil Taylor
I'm sure a lot of my teammates had a pretty wild party after we won the NBA championship last Friday night, but I'm the wrong guy to ask about it. I celebrated by going back to my room at the Four Seasons in Manhattan and climbing into bed next to my six-year-old son, David Jr. I had promised him that if we won Game 5 against the Knicks, he could sleep next to me. He was at Madison Square Garden, and when we fell behind in the second half, he was crying because he thought he wasn't going to get to do it. After we won, he was one happy little boy, but he's still not quite old enough to really understand what we'd done. The next morning I reminded him that we were the world champs. He said, "You mean, like the Bulls?" I said, "No, son, it's not the Bulls anymore. It's the San Antonio Spurs."