Towards the end of Game Six we were already dead.
With little more than five seconds on the clock, Ray Allen brought us back to life.
And at the end of Game Seven, we were in heaven.
What can be said about the NBA Championship series between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs that hasn’t already been stated? It was huge. It was clutch. It was breathtaking. It was heart-attack inducing. All around, it was real.
During Monday’s victory parade around downtown Miami and during the final ceremony, the entire city came together for the second straight year to celebrate and reflect on the moments that brought us to this point.
But as each player was interviewed on stage for the last major event of the Heat’s 2012-13 season, it was the audience who spoke loudest.
During a celebratory interview in front of a packed arena, Shane Battier laid it all on the line. While admitting that he played bad during most of the playoffs, he had this little nugget of reflection about his winning performance in Game Seven that ultimately helped the Heat win their second straight NBA title: “This year was about doing your job.”
And doing your job they did.
The fact that they are known for the “Big Three” is just a jump-off point for this organization. One would be hard pressed to think of a roster that depends on role-playing as much as our team exemplified this season, something evidenced by the individualized roars of adoration that rose when each player was announced.
Ray Allen? He is the vet who hit THE big three point shot that changed everything.
Shane Battier? He came to play when it mattered most.
Mario Chalmers? He stayed consistent throughout.
Mike Miller? He lost his shoe (and hit huge threes.)
Udonis Haslem? He is the hometown hero and the heart of the team.
Norris Cole? He is the uppity spoiled child (Cole now has 2 National Championship rings after only 2 years in the NBA.)
Juwan Howard? He is the abuelito and a pillar of team spirit.
Chris ‘Birdman’ Anderson? He is the great ball of energy and strength.
Chris Bosh? He is the selfless team player and big blocker when it counted.
Dwyane Wade? He is the backbone of the organization and local favorite.
Lebron James? At this point it is safe to say that he is the King.
Never mind that the Heat is almost universally hated away from their home town. What they have been able to accomplish this season was nothing short of historical—capping it all off with a series for the ages.
Like many signs fans were waving, this is a “No Hate Zone.”
As we take a collective breath for the first time since Game Six, we can contemplate what James told the crowd at American Airlines Arena: the only thing that matters is the next championship.
Get ready world, because here we come.
Here are some highlights as compiled by Arielle Castillo from Monday's many epic moments: