Parker was done talking about his transcendent night, back from the media podium where nothing he said could perfectly capture what he had just done.
The San Antonio Spurs point guard was happy, of course, ecstatic that the Memphis Grizzlies were behind them and the NBA Finals awaited them for the first time in six years and the fourth time since he joined Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili as part of this legendary Big Three in 2001. So he walked with a permanent grin past the meaningless trophy in the hallway next to the locker room, that silver ball that Manu Ginobili wanted no part of holding because he said he’d “wait for the next one.”
The Spurs now head home to rest and wait for either Miami or Indiana after finishing off the first conference finals sweep since the Nets handled Detroit in 2003. Game 1 of the finals is June 6.
“If we go all the way, it’ll definitely be my favorite because it gets harder and harder,” Parker said with the Western championship trophy sitting in front of him.
The Spurs now have won six straight in these playoffs, and they did it by handing two straight losses to a team that had been undefeated on their own court in their best postseason in franchise history.
“We will be back,” Grizzlies guard Mike Conley said.
Memphis finished off the best season in team history getting swept by the very same franchise that needed four games to knock them out of their first playoff appearance in 2004. The Grizzlies got a standing ovation from their fans as the final seconds ticked off.
Parker had his best game this postseason, hitting 15 of 21 shots and four of his six free throws in the final 29.7 seconds to seal this victory.
“He’s been amazing,” Duncan said of Parker. “Every year he gets better and better and better. He’s been carrying us. You can see tonight he carried us the entire game.”