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CHAMPIONS! AGAIN! LeBron leads Heat past Spurs for repeat NBA title; Parade scheduled 11 a.m. Monday



1) It is SATURDAY, JUNE 22. It's Championship Saturday in Miami! Watch for a new blogpost by Sunday morning. 2) Was stunned to hear about James Gandolfini dying at age 51. R.I.P. Owned every scene in The Sopranos. So sad. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Heat G6 win, Heat poll, Craig Sager Bobbleheads, Sad-O-Meter.

Follow us on TWITTER @gregcote and INSTAGRAM @ upsetbird and VINE @ Greg Cote. Bunch of new pix and vids from Heat-Spurs Game 7.

Click on Champions! Repeat, Champions! for my column off the title-winning Game 7 triumph by Heat. And click on Exhale, Appreciate for today's follow column.

Bulletin: LeBron James abruptly retires!: This was reported by The Onion, which of course famously makes s--- up. Click here for the frivolity. 

1aa1finals7FINALS G7: HEAT 95, SPURS 88: LEBRON'S 37 LIFT MIAMI TO SECOND STRAIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP!: LeBron 37 points, Dwyane Wade 23, Shane Battier six 3's off the bench, tenacious defense -- it was a championship formula for the Heat here Thursday night in Game 7. See just above for link to my column off the game. ..... Original post: Forget the confines of just sports. This is a huge, huge night for Miami, period. For South Florida and anbody who cares about it. 1aa1final72You needn't be a sports fan to have allowed yourself to get caught up in this and feel the civic pride of it all. Heat vs. San Antonio. Game 7. Winner take all. Somebody celebrates on the court tonight. The only question is how loud it will be at that moment inside and outside the arena. Everything has been said. All that's left now if for the Heat and this Big 3 era to stake its claim to a dynasty or to endure the rest of the country labeling this whole thing a failure. That is the harsh reality. Not much gray in those extremes. So... LeBron James. Dwyane Wade. Chris Bosh. How big are you feeling? How high is your reach? Let's all find out together.

WAS LAST NIGHT BIGGER THAN MARLINS' '97 WORLD SERIES GAME 7?: Heat-Spurs last night marked the ninth Game 7 home game for the Heat, Marlins or Panthers, but only the second that was winner-take-all for the championship. The only other one of those ultimate Game 7's was Marlins vs. Indians for the '97 World Series title. It was historic, a vivid night in Miami history, not just sports. Remember, we loved the Marlins back then. They were shiny and new. I think this poll should be a close vote, but I'm not at all sure it will be. There was a just-happy-to-be-there element in '97, with the fifth-year Marlins. There is more gravity attached to the 2013 Heat, a team that can less afford to lose. But you'll define what constitutes a "bigger" Game 7 by however you wish. My only requests: Don't let any current animus against the Marlins seep into your consideration, OK? Now vote and say why.

On Heat fans who left early: Two things. First: Y'all have every right to show up late or leave early if you wish. You bought the ticket. It's your life. You want to beat the crowd by leaving with a minute left in a close, thrilling Game 6 that means everything? See ya! Second: But then don't bitch and moan if you walked out on a miracle comeback and missed overtime because the arena rules cleary state there is no return-entry. Once you leave, you're done. No sympathy here -- zee-ro -- for the early leavers who got locked out. The national media reaction was predictably overboard. What those fans did was neither embarrassing nor outrageous; they were a miniscule sliver of the overall crowd. Move on.

Poll result: Confidence in Heat winning two straight tops 70 percent: We asked this before Game 6 -- would Miami win two in a row and the title? -- and the "yes" vote dominated with 70.5 percent. It would have been higher, but the second-most votes came from Texas (7.6% of the total), where 73.9 percent voted "no."

GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS FOR DOLPHINS' "FUTURE RANK": ESPN ranks the 32 NFL teams based on where they'll be in 2016 based on current roster, QB situation, 2013 draft, coaching and front office. the top five are 49ers, Packers, Seahawks, Ravens and (still!) Patriots. Miami is ranked 20th, a spot suggesting more mediocrity, not a leap into imminent playoff status. The good news? The other two AFC East-ers rank 29th (Bills) and dead-last (Stinkin' Jets).

Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost...