“If you don’t score any points, nobody is going to remember that. They’re only going to remember [championship] No. 2. Very sweet, even better than last year. It’s the best feeling in the world.”
Afterward, Bosh told Tim Duncan that Bosh wouldn’t have been there without him. Why?
Because “he was one of the guys I wanted to be growing up,” Bosh said. “I learned a lot just by watching him. He’s a champion. I can only hope to be a fraction of as good as he is.”
Duncan replied with a “thank you and congratulations.”
The knee whisperer
Wade, sitting in ABC’s makeshift studio set, said the idea of wanting to play with other stars crystallized as he watched Kobe Bryant win a title in 2010. “That’s what started it.”
He called this the most challenging playoffs of his career. Standing outside the locker room afterward, he relayed a conversation with his knees.
“I told my knees, ‘Listen, I will treat you good this summer,’ ” Wade said. “ ‘Just give me one more.’ ”
“I have a chance to rest now. This is the sweetest [championship] by far because of everything we’ve been through, everything I’ve been through.”
Shot through the heart
As Ray Allen’s father massaged his back, Allen stood in the locker room, relishing The Shot That Changed Everything — his three-pointer with 5.2 seconds left in the fourth quarter that tied Game 6.
“This celebration I wouldn’t be part of if that shot hadn’t gone in,” he said. “I do have to label it as probably the biggest shot I’ve ever hit in my life. You talk about the magnitude of the situation. That’s something I’ll think about, other people will talk about, forever.”
Allen’s father cracked, “He should have come here two years ago.”
Allen didn’t hear that, but said: “This is what I came down here for. It was a great leap of faith when I left [Boston]. I knew I needed a change at the time. These guys welcomed me with open arms.”
‘Whatever it took’
A starter for most of the season, Haslem didn’t play in Game 6 and logged just 1 minute 37 seconds in Game 7. “It was my turn to sacrifice,” he said, just before a female TV reporter from Belgium asked if she could kiss him on the cheek. (Haslem said OK.)
“This is the ultimate definition of a team — different rounds, different guys have to sacrifice. Every round, we did whatever it took. [If we hadn’t won], I would have been heartbroken. … I’m happy for Dwyane — that’s my brother. I told him [Thursday night], ‘Put some hot sauce on [that knee]. We need you.’ ”
This Bud Light’s for you
After draining six three-pointers, Battier stuck his head in the arena’s flagship lounge afterward to grab a Bud Light and was greeted with resounding applause. He said a lot of people counted him out, but he knew he had a game like this in him.
“I believe in basketball gods,” he said. “I felt they owed me big time.”
Meanwhile, his buddy, Mike Miller, stood at his locker, holding his sneakers above his head triumphantly as if they were mini trophies.
Transforming from spare part in the regular season to starter in the final four games of the NBA Finals “was awesome,” he said. “That’s our team. That’s what makes it fun.”
And LeBron? “The guy’s ridiculous. If you’ve got cable, you know. He works harder than anybody, which for a four-time MVP speaks volumes.”
Memories for champions
• Chalmers cavorted down an arena hall, his young son Zachiah close behind. “Miami, we just getting started!” he said. Chalmers will forever be associated with his late heroics in Kansas’ national-championship win against Memphis, but “this might have surpassed that. A little kid from Alaska, driven by playing in the NBA. To be here and have two NBA championships is a dream come true for me.”
• Rashard Lewis played sparingly in the postseason but said: “I’m still on a team that won a championship. Finally got a chance to experience it after playing 14 years in the league. Winning one cures everything.”
• Andersen sprinted into the locker room and served up one of the lines of the night: “I need security. Champ coming through!”