WASHINGTON, June 20, 2013 —Tonight when the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs take the court, only one team will emerge with bragging rights. But the real winner of this memorable playoff series is the television audience.
NBA teams play 82 regular season games and a grueling series of playoffs before getting to the big dance. None of those games matter now because it all comes down to tonight’s contest in Miami.
Only three times since 1990 has a season’s title come down to one game, and oh, what a game it will be tonight. After last night’s overtime stunner, LeBron James said “It’s by far the best game I’ve ever been a part of.”
Although James was referring to a specific game in the series, this season’s NBA finals have been one of the most competitive and least contentious series in recent history.
There’s been no whining or fighting or finger pointing by either team. Better yet, we’ve also avoided having to endure idiotic post game histrionics by any player or coach. They’ve all been gentlemen on and off the court. That’s no small feat considering past history and what’s at stake tonight.
Both teams have displayed admirable sportsmanship during these finals despite the efforts of outside forces to make it all about something besides basketball. When 11-year-old Mexican-American Sebastien De La Cruz’s performance of the national anthem provoked racial slurs, even this 11-year old wonder displayed grace in the face of adversity.
De La Cruz responded to the racial attacks with words of wisdom we should all take to heart. “With the racist remarks, it was just people how they were raised. My father and my mama told me you should never judge people how they look,” he said.
The class of this proud young American is the perfect metaphor for this year’s NBA finals. In tonight’s game, expect an intense battle that will test the mettle of both teams. But, regardless of the outcome, the respect the players have shown for the game and for each other makes everyone a winner.
All times are EDT:
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Musicians Steven Tyler and Joe Perry; a scavenger hunt with One Direction.
CBS: The Big Bang Theory: (New) Koothrappali is put out when his date walks out in the middle of their evening, so he vows that he will forever stay put in his apartment. Meanwhile, Sheldon is quite impressed when he witnesses Penny’s acting skills firsthand.
FOX: Hell’s Kitchen: (Live) The remaining chefs must prove their originality in an intense pressure cooker test.
NBC: Parks and Recreation: (Repeat) Leslie is determined to help a local video store stay in business, while Chris offers Tom advice on how to deal with a difficult employee. Elsewhere, Ann resorts to blackmail to get April to be her friend.
CW: The Vampire Diaries: (Repeat) Stefan and Klaus form an unusual alliance to deal with the danger that Connor unleashes on the town that includes taking Jeremy, Matt and April hostage. Meanwhile, Shane tries to help Bonnie get past her fear and guilt.
ABC: NBA Countdown: (Live) Pre game show
CBS: Two and a Half Men: (Repeat) Alan makes an investment in Kate’s fashion line—using Walden’s money.
NBC: Parks and Recreation: (Repeat) Leslie accompanies Ben on a trip to his hometown of Partridge, Minn., where he has been offered a key to the city. Meanwhile, Ron deals with a lawsuit filed against him by Councilman Jamm; at the same time, Ann and Chris take a parenting compatibility quiz.
ABC: NBA Finals: (Live) San Antonio Spurs at Miami Heat Game 7. From the American Airlines Arena in Miami.
CBS: Person of Interest: (Repeat) While working undercover as a high-school substitute teacher, Finch protects a teen genius who reminds him of himself. Elsewhere, Carter takes on a dangerous assignment for the FBI.
FOX: Does Someone Have To Go?: (New) Employees of a home remodeling company must make some tough decisions
NBC: The Office: (Repeat) Andy works up the courage to quit his job and pursue his dreams of stardom.
CW: Beauty and the Beast: (Repeat) Cat warns Vincent to be extra cautious after his photograph appears in a newspaper.
CBS: Elementary: (Repeat) Joan investigates her first solo case when a wife disappears. The missing woman left behind a tear-filled video that mentions a murder on a subway platform. While Joan searches for the vanished lady, Sherlock probes the murder.
NBC: Hannibal: (New) Season finale! Hannibal frames Will, convincing Jack and Alana that Will’s a copycat killer.
New episodes of:
The Hero at 8 p.m. on TNT
Intervention at 9 p.m. on A&E
Monumental Mysteries at 9 p.m. on Travel Channel
Burn Notice at 9 p.m. on USA
How it’s Made at 9 p.m. on SCI
Renovation Raiders at 9 p.m. on HGTV
Pawn Stars at 9 and 9:30 p.m. on History Channel
Anger Management at 9:30 p.m. on FX
Four Weddings at 9 and 10 p.m. on TLC
Showville at 10 p.m. on AMC
Swamp People at 10 p.m. on History Channel
Sullivan & Son at 10 p.m. on TBS
Tabatha Takes Over at 10 p.m. on BRAVO
Gracelend at 10 p.m. on USA
Wilfred at 10 and 10:30 p.m. on FX
Property Wars at 10 and 10:30 p.m. on DSC
For movie lovers:
Vegas Vacation on AMC
Glory on BBC
Spy Game on Cinemax
Babe on ENC
Traffic on FLIX
Planet of the Apes on FXM
The Shawshank Redemption on IFC
Untamed Youth on TCM
Source Code on TMC
The Dark Knight Rises on HBO
Battleship on MOMAX
About Cherry on SHO
21 Jump Street on STARZ
Transformers on TNT
The Beat Generation at 9:30 p.m. on TCM
Perfect Sense at 9:35 p.m. on TMC
Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen at 9:40 p.m. on ENC
Snow White and the Huntsman at 10 p.m. on Cinemax
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