And here we thought Gregg Popovich was the only NBA Finals participant capable of giving us comedic gold in postgame press conferences.
Following the San Antonio Spurs’ 111-92 Game 3 win over the Miami Heat Tuesday night, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Erik Spoelstra took to the podium to field questions from reporters. As is the custom.
And while most questions were of the standard-analytical variety, one reporter in particular distinguished himself as uncommonly capable of confounding his subjects.
Spoelstra was first through the verbal gauntlet:
Reporter goes on diatribe about how Heat didn't come out correctly in a Finals game. Spoelstra lets him finish. "Clearly."— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) June 11, 2014
To be fair to Bobby Ramos, the reporter in question, the way the question was transcribed above makes it sound a lot more nonsensical than it actually did live.
At the same time, you can kind of sympathize with Spo’s strategy of deflection here. Was there really a question in there, or was it just one scribe’s way of taking a not-so-veiled dig at the defending champs?
A few minutes later, Ramos was picked to pose a question to James and Wade. Their reaction was, in a word, priceless:
At this point you almost had to feel bad for Ramos. It’s impossible to say whether his weird lines of questioning amounted to intentional media ribbing, or if maybe he just worded his questions clumsily.
Either way, the Heat are clearly on edge after being dismantled by the Spurs—a game that saw San Antonio break the NBA record for first-half shooting efficiency.
Spurs lead Heat at half, 71-50. San Antonio is shooting a BLAZING 75.8% from the field, highest FG % in a half in NBA Finals history.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 11, 2014
The Heat, meanwhile, authored some superlatives of their own—albeit of the more putrid variety:
LeBron James: 7 turnovers is a Finals career high— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 11, 2014
Heat shoot 53% and 50% from 3...and lose by 20.— KJ_NBA (@KJ_NBA) June 11, 2014
Down 2-1, the Heat—who relinquished home-court advantage back to the Spurs—certainly have their work cut out for them.
It starts with Miami’s once-vaunted defense, which finished outside the top 10 in regular-season efficiency for the first time since the 2008-09 season—a year before James and Chris Bosh would join Wade and Spoelstra.
Against a team as insanely sharp as these Spurs, that could spell certain doom. Along with a whole lot of weird, winding press-conference questions.