Basketball offers its fans the ultimate contradiction. On the one hand, it's the sport that most depends on its stars. On the other, it's the most intimate â€” even organic â€” of all the team games, with its players more fundamentally involved with one another. Both of these opposing realities are rooted in the same base.
MARTIN: Every once in a while, the intrepid Mike Pesca has to take one for the team, go out in the field for a tough assignment. You know, watch some basketball, work on his tan. He is in Miami covering the NBA finals.
MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: I don't work on the tan. It just comes to me.
MARTIN: You know, it's no work. It's just easy.
PESCA: It's just the sun remembers my Mediterranean the roots and, bam, I'm dark.
"Tim Duncan overcame a slow start to finish with 20 points and 14 rebounds, Tony Parker banked in a desperation jumper on a broken play with 5.2 seconds left and the San Antonio Spurs withstood LeBron James' triple-double to beat the Miami Heat 92-88 on Thursday night in a thrilling Game 1 of the NBA finals." (The Associated Press)