Once everyone realized what was going on, a good laugh was had by all. Shaq was smiling. The Spurs were smiling. Pops was down right Fonzied pink about his clever little punk job. In a fun little gesture, whatever animosity that may have existed between the two was playfully buried. I found the whole thing entertainingly unexpected. I've always considered Pops to be the closest thing the NBA had to Bill Belichick; a cold, calculating, disgustingly successful, evil genius. While he was never as unambiguously evil as Belichick, I figured he'd at the very least be a humorless dick incapable of such lighthearted moments. But somewhere between the last odd year championship and growing that crazy beard I guess something changed. In this one gesture he has shown more personality than the last three championship teams combined.
As funny as the brief little episode was for everyone, there was one question on my mind: what does Michael Finley think about all this? Here is this guy, a respected fourteen year veteran of the league, a two time all star, a former member of the old Dallas Mavericks' "Big Three"; and he's the guy they figure is expendable enough to burn a foul on. I mean he was obviously cool enough with the whole thing to go along with it but that's got to dent your pride a little bit. Obviously they weren't going to let Tim Duncan or Tony Parker to go one foul in the red at the immediate start of the game, but they were more than willing to burden Finley with a foul. Couldn't they have have outsourced it to one of their bench players? I'm sure they could have lived with jeopardizing Matt Bonner's career 6.3 PPG (although I guess it might have been been too big a give away to inexplicably start Tim Duncan on the bench). Or couldn't they have just brought back Robert Horry?
I know at this point in his career Finley's primarily a role player and back up for Ginobli, but come on, the guy was one of the superstars from "Like Mike". I think that's got to count for something right?