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NBA FINALS: HEAT v THUNDER


June 21, 2012


Chris Bosh

LeBron James

Pat Riley

Stuart Scott

Erik Spoelstra

David Stern

Dwyane Wade


MIAMI, FLORIDA: Game Five

Oklahoma City Thunder - 106
Miami Heat - 121


MICHAEL BAIAMONTE:  Now, ladies and gentlemen, direct your attention to center court for the presentation of the Larry O'Brien Trophy and the 2012 Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award, and please welcome Stuart Scott.
STUART SCOTT:  Thank you very much.  Good evening.  Here to present the Larry O'Brien Trophy to the Miami Heat, NBA Commissioner David Stern.
COMMISSIONER DAVID STERN:  Thank you very much to the Heat and to the Thunder for captivating basketball fans around the world with this series and making a few more.  Congratulations to a worthy opponent, the Western Conference champion, the Oklahoma City Thunder.
But the night and the series belong to your NBA champion Miami Heat.  Congratulations to Micky Arison and the Arison family, to Pat Riley and the entire organization, to Erik Spoelstra, to these extraordinary, extraordinary players, and to the wonderful fans of South Florida.
So here goes the trophy to the 2012 NBA champion Miami Heat.
STUART SCOTT:  Joining me now, Miami Heat team president Pat Riley.  Pat, 45 years for you in the NBA.  This is your eighth title as a player, coach, executive.  What stands out about this one?
PAT RILEY:  Well, but for the grace of God I go.  That's what stands out about it.  This is a great, great, great group.  This is right now not about anybody else but the coaches, the players, the staff, the employees that work for the Heat.  Obviously everybody has brought this together to make it happen.  It's not easy.  It's one of the hardest things you'll ever do.
I want to congratulate OKC, Clay Bennett, Sam Presti, Scott Brooks and their team.  We hope to see them again.  I'm sure that we will.
But most of all, it's really about all of you out there.  Can we have a party tonight?  Is it okay to have a party tonight?
STUART SCOTT:  You once stood on a podium and you told people, "We'll be right back here next year."  Care to do it again?
PAT RILEY:  Well, we believe that we built a team that's going to be around for a while, and our goal is to hopefully come back every year.  It's always started out as an upstart, you become a team, you become a winner, a contender, and then one day you might become something special, and that's what we're shooting for.  All these guys back here have put it on the line, and for the head coach, Erik Spoelstra, he did a job.  I've got his tie right here.  I'm wearing his tie.
STUART SCOTT:  Let's bring him in here.  Thank you very much, Coach.  He's always going to be Coach Pat Riley.
Now the current Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra.  Back in 2006 you were an assistant coach when the Heat won the championship.  What's the difference in how this one feels?
COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA:  A lot more pressure.  I've got a lot more gray hairs, but this one was so gratifying.  We love you, Miami.  Thank you for your patience.  We remember last year.  We wanted to make up for it.
STUART SCOTT:  What's the biggest challenge you had as a coach leading the team back from last year when you lost in The Finals?
COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA:  Well, just to pick our spirits up and stay on course.  We knew that we had confidence in what we could do, but it would be a long season and it would be a tough road.  We kept on saying all year long it would be the toughest thing we'd have to do in our professional lives to get back here and finally get those four wins.
STUART SCOTT:  You used a lot of boxing analogies with your team.  Why?
COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA:  Well, everybody knows I'm a Manny Pacquiao fan.  There are quite a few competitors that our guys can relate to in that sport.  We got knocked down to the canvas two or three times this playoff run, but the thing that matters, we got up and we kept on working.
STUART SCOTT:  Now back to present the 2012 Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award, once again, Commissioner Stern.
COMMISSIONER DAVID STERN:  I'm honored to be standing here with the greatest champion of them all, Bill Russell, after whom the MVP trophy is named.  And LeBron James averaged 28.6 points, 10.2 rebounds, 7.4 assists, and is the unanimous choice for the MVP, the Bill Russell Most Valuable Player trophy of the 2012 NBA Finals.
STUART SCOTT:  The chants say it all.  LeBron James, MVP of the Finals.  Given everything you've been through, when the clock hit triple zeros, what's the first thing that ran through your mind?
LeBRON JAMES:  It's about damn time.  It's about damn time.
STUART SCOTT:  Going back to last year's Finals, the way it ended, the way you struggled, the ton of criticism that came your way and so many different ways, what's the one thing that was said or written that bothered you the most?
LeBRON JAMES:  That I was selfish.  That's the only thing that bothered me, that a lot of people said I was a selfish person, a selfish basketball player.  I strive on being a team player, doing whatever it takes to help this team win.  But at the same time, I used it as motivation.  I'm happy that I was able to make enough plays to put ourselves in a position to win this championship.
STUART SCOTT:  You said that last year you were trying to prove something, and this year you realized you didn't have to do that.  So how do you refocus your mind?  How did you do that?
LeBRON JAMES:  I just went back to the basics.  I knew what got me to this point, and it was hard work and dedication.  I never had to prove anything to anyone.  In my first seven years, I just went out and let the game take care of itself, and last year I tried to prove something to everybody, you know, and I played with a lot of hate, and that's not the way I play the game of basketball.  I play with a lot of love, a lot of passion, and that's what I got back to this year.
STUART SCOTT:  We saw you on the broadcast.  Seconds after the game, what was going on on the bench in your show of just unbridled emotion?
LeBRON JAMES:¬† Oh, man, this right here is the happiest day of my life.¬† It's the happiest day of my life, and I wouldn't want to spend it with nobody else in the world besides my teammates, these fans‑‑ oh, my God, you guys are unbelievable.¬† And this is a dream come true.
STUART SCOTT:¬† LeBron James, the seventh player in NBA history to have multiple triple‑doubles in the NBA Finals.¬† Go enjoy it.
Now we've got Dwyane Wade coming in.¬† Dwyane, in 2006 you won this thing as a 24‑year‑old.¬† Now as a 30‑year‑old, what's the difference in what this means to you?
DWYANE WADE:  Man, I'm speechless, man, I'm speechless.  Winning the championship in 2006 was amazing.  But I didn't go through nothing yet.  Now six years after that, I've been through a lot in my personal life, and I've been through a lot in my professional life, and this means so much more.
STUART SCOTT:  Six years ago, you were the MVP of the Finals, you were the clear catalyst of your team.  At what point did you realize that you would have to defer and give up that role?
DWYANE WADE:  Well, we made a decision two years ago to become a team.  You know, LeBron, Chris and myself, and other guys decided to come together.  So you've got to do what you've got to do to make sure that you reach your goal.  And I had a position, I had a role to play.  It might have changed a little bit, but at the end of the day we all had one common goal, and that was to become the champions.
STUART SCOTT:  You had done this before.  What do you think is the most important thing that you said to your teammates on the way to this championship?
DWYANE WADE:  You know what, I think this team, we had so much pain, so much hurt, so much embarrassment from last season that it was nothing needed to be said.  From the first day, from Christmas Day, we was on a mission, and that mission was not complete until tonight.
STUART SCOTT:¬† Two‑time NBA champion Dwyane Wade, congratulations.
Chris Bosh, every NBA player dreams of winning the NBA championship.  How does the dream compare to the reality?
CHRIS BOSH:  The reality is a lot better.  But you know what, all those times we were working hard in the gym, working hard together, suffering through everything together, it's all worth it.
STUART SCOTT:  You were perceived as sometimes the forgotten member of the Big Three.  What do you think your biggest contribution to this team has been over the last couple of years?
CHRIS BOSH:  Just rebounding, scoring when I can.  I know what I can do.  This city and my teammates, they've supported me all along.  We came here to win a championship.  We came here to win a championship, and we got it done.
STUART SCOTT:¬† Pretty nice to average a double‑double in the NBA Finals, as well.¬† Congratulations to Chris Bosh.
CHRIS BOSH:  Appreciate it, man.
STUART SCOTT:  Let's now congratulate your NBA champion 2012 Miami Heat and NBA Finals MVP LeBron James.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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