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Spurs coach Gregg Popovich on respect for the Heat: 'I like everybody'

Tim Duncan embraces Dwyane Wade after  the Heat's victory in Game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals. (AP Photo/Steve Mitchell) Tim Duncan embraces Dwyane Wade after the Heat's Game 7 victory in the 2013 NBA Finals. (AP Photo/Steve Mitchell)

When Miami Heat forward LeBron James said that the San Antonio Spurs didn't like them, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich -- using his usual humor -- denied any sort of tension.

The NBA Finals get underway Thursday in San Antonio, but the Spurs understandably still have bad memories of last year's championship series against Miami, when they coughed up a five-point lead in the final 28 seconds of Game 6. They went on the lose that game in overtime and also lost Game 7.

"I like everybody," Popovich said, via the Associated Press. "Are you really going to ask that?. So somebody will say, 'I don't like him' and the other guy, 'So and so said they don't like you.' 'Well, I don't like him either.' Come on, this is silly."

When San Antonio beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in six games in the Western Conference finals, Spurs forward Tim Duncan said, "We've got four more to win. We'll do it this time."

That caused James to offer his opinion on the rivalry.

"They don't like us. They don't," James said Monday. "I can sense it from Timmy's comments over the last couple of days. . They want us, so they got us."
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