- 18 May 2018, 14:01 #17186
SAN ANTONIO -- Fans screamed "Go Spurs Go!" in unison at the slightest glimpse of a San Antonio Spurs player or coach floating down the River Walk. It was reminiscent of last season when the Spurs walked off their team charter to those chants, except the tone Wednesday night was much sweeter. The victory parade for Spurs fifth NBA title was part celebration and part exorcism. "It is soaking in, but Im still going to live it up for about the whole summer," NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard said. "(I havent slept) very much. Ive been trying to live the moment. Its been hard to sleep still. Thought I would get some sleep after we won the finals, but Im still celebrating. Go Spurs Go! San Antonio!" After falling 25 seconds shy of capturing the title last season only to fall in seven games to the Miami Heat, the Spurs made another run to the NBA Finals. Except this time, they closed out the Heat in five games for the teams first title since 2007. "I cried (last year). I think the rest of the city cried, too," Spurs fan Rosalinda Gonzalez said. "How they lost, that was bad. It made this years victory even more sweet, sweet. (And) the way we did it. All the games that we won were by a billion points. It was awesome. Great comeback." Given a chance to celebrate what they couldnt last year, Spurs fans endured 90-degree heat to line the River Walk and stand outside of the Alamodome up to five hours before the festivities began. The City of San Antonio estimated about 100,000 people attended the River Walk parade and 75,000 were at the Alamodome. "Weve got to thank the people of San Antonio," said Spurs guard Patty Mills, who served as the events master of ceremonies. "You really make this way more special than it already is. You guys are so genuine and really care about us. Youve embraced all of us as a family." And the fans soaked up the moment as if it was the citys first championship. Even usually cantankerous Spurs coach Gregg Popovich fully embraced the moment, smiling and waving at the crowd as the barge he rode on floated along the River Walk. Popovich raised one finger with a puzzled look before counting off two, three, four and nodding his head when he reached five, raising an outstretched hand to symbolize how many titles the franchise has won. It was Popovich who admitted the Spurs were "hurting" after losing last seasons finals. Still, the team was greeted by thousands of cheering fans upon its arrival home following the Game 7 loss to the Heat. "Ill be honest with you, when you saw the crowd the first feeling I had was embarrassment," Popovich said last year. "Was just embarrassed that we didnt get it done and then as you look at them all and they just keep cheering you realize, my gosh, you really felt the love and the way they care for these guys and their team and then it did make it easier." It also was Popovich who implored the team to face the defeat head on and learn from it, and the Spurs certainly did that. The Spurs Big Three of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili guided the team to the leagues best regular-season record and to a dominant post-season run after escaping a seven-game series with the Dallas Mavericks. San Antonios combined 70-point winning margin over Miami was the largest in NBA Finals history. "We owe it all to Pop," Ginobili said as his barge made a stop. "He had us playing great basketball at the right time." The Big Three twice received standing ovations from the capacity crowd inside the Alamodome as Duncan celebrated his fifth title and Parker and Ginobili their fourth. "Thats the best thing about them, you can hang with them, you can have jokes with them," Mills said about the Big Three. "They are better people than they are basketballers." Aside from the Big Three, the loudest ovations were for Leonard, who Popovich has called the future face of the Spurs since his arrival via a draft day trade with the Indiana Pacers in 2011. On the Alamodome stage, Mills shared a story of how he asked Leonard which superhero he was going to be for Parkers annual Halloween party. The quiet 22-year-old responded with, "Kawhi Leonard superhero." And Leonard was that in the finals. Leonard had 22 points and 10 rebounds in the series-ending victory Sunday night, becoming the youngest finals MVP since Duncan received the honour at the same age in 1999. The Spurs face an uncertain off-season with up to six possible free agents, but that wasnt even a consideration for the players or the fans Wednesday. After waiting a year, they all got to exhale and celebrate another title. 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Ramirez is still hitting behind Puig, only now they are in the third and fourth spots, and the change is starting to generate positive results for manager Don Mattingly.BERLIN -- Nuremberg and Eintracht Braunschweig were relegated on the final day of the Bundesliga season Saturday, while Bayer Leverkusen clinched the last Champions League qualification place. Leverkusen came from behind to beat Werder Bremen 2-1 and secure fourth place immediately above Wolfsburg, which beat sixth-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach 3-1. "We knew we had to win," Leverkusen striker Eren Derdiyok said. Hamburger SV got the relegation playoff place despite losing 3-2 at Mainz, which secured Europa League football next season by finishing seventh. Mainz general manager Christian Heidel said after the game that Thomas Tuchel wanted to resign after five years in charge. "He has a contract until 2015. We dont want to rescind the contract," Heidel said. Media reports were linking Tuchel with Schalke. Neither Nuremberg nor Braunschweig could capitalize on Hamburgs loss. Nuremberg lost 4-1 at Schalke and Braunschweig stayed bottom after a 3-1 loss at Hoffenheim. It was a Bundesliga record eighth relegation for Nuremberg, while Braunschweig returns to the second division one season after securing promotion. "When you look back over 34 games we simply didnt get enough points, thats a fact," Braunschweig midfielder Mirko Boland said. Hamburg, the only side to have played every Bundesliga season since the league was formed in 1963, now faces home and away games against the third-placed finisher in the second division for a place in the top flight next season. "On Thursday at home we have to win," Hamburg coach Mirko Slomka said of the first leg. Hamburg completed its worst ever league campaign, with 75 goals conceded, more than any other side. "We still have a chance and well give everything we can," Hamburg midfielder Rafael van der Vaart said. Robert Lewandowski scored twice in his last game for Borussia Dortmund, a 4-0 win at Hertha Berlin, to finish as the leagues top scorer with 20 goals. The Polish striker opened the scoring in the 41st and Milos Jojic curled a fine effort from the right of the penalty area inside the far post three minutes later. Lewandowski, who is joining Bayern Munich next season, scored with a brilliant free kick in the 80th, two minutes before Henrikh Mkhitaryan completed the goals. Already crowned champion Bayern left it late to beat Stuttgart 1-0 and get its title celebrations underway. Claudio Pizarro scored two minutes into injury time for Bayern to finish the leeague on a high.dddddddddddd It was the Peru strikers fifth goal in four games. Pep Guardiolas side had clinched the title with a record seven games to spare and the former Barcelona coach was doused in beer by jubilant players as he held aloft the championship shield. He also dropped it. "It was cold," Guardiola said of his first beer shower. "Its all OK now after having a proper shower. Im happy." Stuttgart coach Huub Stevens, who saved his side from relegation, stepped down after the game. "Im not staying with Stuttgart. The reasons are personal. It has nothing to do with Stuttgart, nothing to do with the players. It only has to do with me," the Dutchman said without elaborating. Also Saturday, Augsburg defeated Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 and Hannover beat Freiburg 3-2. Hannover honoured captain Steve Cherundolo before kickoff for his service to the club he joined in 1999. The San Diego native, who made 87 appearances for the United States, is retiring because of persistent knee injuries. Schalke safeguarded third place to secure direct qualification for the Champions League next season. It started badly for Nuremberg when Joel Matip scored with a header from a corner in the sixth minute. Roman Neustaedter made it 2-0 before the break, Julian Draxler scored in the 75th, and Chinedu Obasi added another in the 90th. Nuremberg striker Josip Drmic scored his sides consolation in injury time. Leverkusen provisionally lost fourth place to Wolfsburg after Theodor Gebre Selassie fired Bremen ahead in the 21st and Kevin de Bruyne put Wolfsburg 1-0 up against Gladbach in the 30th. Leverkusen defender Omer Toprak equalized with a fine header in the 34th and Heung-min Son put his side back in fourth place by scoring in the 53rd for a 2-1 victory. "Of course theres a bit of sadness after such a last game after six intensive weeks," said Leverkusen interim coach Sascha Lewandowski, who is making way for Roger Schmidt. Schmidt guided Red Bull Salzburg to the Austrian championship this season. In Wolfsburg, Christoph Kramer equalized for Gladbach in the 64th, before Ivan Perisic and Robin Knoche responded in the 68th and 81st respectively as the hosts won 3-1. Perisic struck the crossbar in the first half, and then the post, crossbar and the other post with one shot in the second. The season comes to a close next Saturday with Bayern and Dortmund meeting in Berlins Olympic Stadium for the German Cup final. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Discount NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys 2019 Wholesale Jerseys China Wholesale Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys NFL Cheap ' ' '