MIAMI — Some people in the sold-out Miami crowd left before the finish of Game Six of the NBA Finals, then were not allowed back into the arena for the conclusion of what became a wild comeback win for the Heat.
Chris Bosh says good riddance.
The Heat forward made no attempt on Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time) to hide his disgust with those who left early, many of whom tried unsuccessfully to get back inside once Miami completed a rally from five points down in the final 21 seconds to force overtime.
"For all those guys who left, make sure they don't come to Game Seven," Bosh said. "We only want the guys who are going to stay in the building for the whole game. You never give up. People gave up on us and they can stay where they are and watch the game at home."
Miami hosts the San Antonio Spurs in Game Seven of the finals on Thursday night.
Heat fans have been maligned by many media outlets over the past three seasons, either for their penchant for showing up late, or leaving early, or sometimes both. During the Eastern Conference finals, the radio voice of the Indiana Pacers called Heat fans "losers" and said the city does not deserve an NBA team.
It bears noting that the overwhelming majority of fans stayed in the building for the full game, and that the Heat have played to sellout crowds at home for the three seasons that Bosh, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James have been teammates in Miami. Also, it seemed to be unnoticed that several Spurs fans left their arena in San Antonio long before the end of Game Four, a one-sided Miami victory.
"I just know in my household, my wife was like, 'Would you please stop doing that to me?'" James said Wednesday, describing the scene at his house after the drama of Game Six. "My mother-in-law, even my sons, they were like, 'Oh my God. You guys lost and won at the same time.' I know. We know. I apologize to our fans from last night. But that's why the game is played all the way to zeroes."
TICKET WATCH: If you want in for Game Seven of the NBA Finals, it'll cost you at least $397 per ticket, according to StubHub.
Also, for that price, wear comfortable shoes. That's just for standing-room availability.
The cheapest actual seat in Miami's building for the last game of the 2013 playoffs was listed at $458 late Monday afternoon, and that was 12 rows back from the front of the upper deck.
In the lower bowl of the arena, nothing was available for less than $995, with an average price of about $1,200 per seat.
And then for the super-high-rollers who have to be on the floor, there was product available, for huge prices. The cheapest courtside seat on Monday was going for $29,413 — with the most expensive at a whopping $58,825.
Prices, especially on the online secondary market, are expected to dip a bit as Tuesday's 9 p.m. start time draws nearer.
POPOVICH'S SUBSTITUTIONS: Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has long been considered one of the very best coaches in the NBA. He rarely has his decisions second-guessed, but that's exactly what happened on Wednesday, one day after the Spurs lost a five-point lead with 28 seconds to play.
Twice in the final 30 seconds, Popovich pulled Tim Duncan for Boris Diaw. On both possessions, the Heat grabbed offensive rebounds to get open 3-pointers that forced overtime.
"It's not that simple," Popovich said. "That's not why they got the 3s."
Popovich has stuck with the strategy of using Diaw, or another speedier player, for Duncan in those late-game situations because he prefers to switch on pick-and-rolls and give his defense a look that can cover as much ground as possible to get out to shooters on the perimeter.
"On an offensive rebound, it's one of the toughest things in the NBA, to pick up people," he said. "And we had one guy who didn't pick up. LeBron shot an airball, when we were up five. They got the rebound, they got it back to him, and he knocked it down."
In the extra session, Popovich did not have playmaker Tony Parker on the court in the closing moments, when Manu Ginobili's drive to the basket came up empty while the Spurs were down by one. But nobody on the Spurs was about to question the decisions.
"I trust Pop," Parker said after the game. "Whatever decision he makes, I was cramping up a little bit at the end of the game. But I'll go with whatever Pop decides."
JUNE 20 MEMORIES: Thursday is the seventh anniversary of one of the most memorable days in Heat history, that being the day where they topped the Dallas Mavericks for their first NBA title.
Dwyane Wade capped a Finals MVP performance with 36 points and 10 rebounds in that Game Six at Dallas, then capped the night and the series by throwing the ball skyward as time expired.
And now, he's revealing that the oft-replayed move wasn't just in celebration. He simply didn't want to go back to the foul line.
"There was two reasons why I threw it up in 2006," Wade said. "One, I always wanted to throw it up. Two, I just missed those two free throws just before that. I didn't want to get fouled again. I just hit six in a row, and then I missed two, and I was like, (forget) it. It was the perfect time."
Wade finished that game 16 for 21 from the foul line, and had two chances to put the game out of reach in the final seconds. He missed both free throws, keeping the Heat lead at 95-92, but Dallas' Jason Terry missed a 3-pointer from the right wing in what was the Mavericks' final hope, and Miami captured the title.
The Spurs' four previous Finals appearances never included a game on June 20.
GREEN FIZZLES: Spurs guard Danny Green had been the toast of the NBA Finals, needing just five games to break Ray Allen's record for 3-pointers in the championship round.
Every time he raised up to shoot it in the first five games, the ball was expected to splash through the hoop. Green made 25 3s in the first five games, shooting a remarkable 65.8 percent from behind the arc.
That all came to a crashing halt in Game Six, when Green went 1 for 7 from the field, 1 for 5 on 3s and scored just three points.
"We all made mistakes, (so we have to) let it go," Green said. "We're not going to pick on who did what. We know what we have to do to win. We know what mistakes we have to fix. We've done this all year."
Popovich said there will be no adjustments to try to get Green going in Game Seven.
"We don't call any plays for Danny Green," the coach said. "Never have."
THE HEADBAND RETURNS: LeBron James, who played the final 14 minutes of Game 6 without his signature accessory headband, plans to open Game Seven wearing one.
"A little superstitious," James said.
But if it gets knocked off, like it did in Game Six ...
"Then me and him will have a discussion if he will return," James said.
NOTES: If he plays in Game seven, and there's no reason to think otherwise, Heat guard Ray Allen will finish the season with 102 overall appearances, which will be no worse than tied for the top spot in the NBA. Allen and Heat guard Norris Cole (who did not play in Game Six) are currently tied with 101 games played this season. ... Spurs guard Tony Parker said his team was over the disappointment of losing Game Six. "That's life. It's basketball. And everybody will be ready" for Game Seven, he said... Heat coach Erik Spoelstra had his sense of humor going before his team gathered Wednesday for the final practice of the season. Asked what he would say to his team before Game Seven, Spoelstra replied, "I'll figure that out tomorrow." And when asked what he'll tell himself, Spoelstra said again, "I'll figure that out tomorrow."... Heat forward Chris Bosh had two double-doubles in the first three rounds of the playoffs. He's had four in the finals alone.