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jokergreen Dec 7 '17
In a franchise that has no time for spotlights, with a roster that has no interest in headlines, R. Cameron Payne Jersey .C. Buford may be the very embodiment of the all-for-one San Antonio Spurs. For more than two decades he has toiled in the shadows, happy to let the attention fall on coach Gregg Popovich and the team that Buford has played such a pivotal role in assembling. He quietly -- happily -- lives in the back channels and has built a reputation as one of the most respected executives in the NBA. Yet for all his impressive work over the previous 11 years as a general manager and architect of the most enduring success story in modern American sports, Buford had never been honoured by his peers as the leagues executive of the year. Until now. Buford won the award Wednesday, and as is the custom in the Alamo City, did as much as he could to downplay his significant contributions to a team that posted the best record in the NBA. "I think its not why we do what we do," Buford said. "I think its a great honour for the group of people that have been here and have been through here that have built and an ownership group thats allowed a continuity to build a program that were proud of so to be recognized as a program that people respect by your peers, thats rewarding." That Buford had never won the award before while helping to put together a team that won four championships and has posted a staggering 15 straight 50-win seasons has been one of the great mysteries in league annals. Hes helped put the Spurs at the forefront of the international invasion, implemented a system that demands commitment and humility over recognition and individual achievement, and has been partly responsible for so many teams pilfering his staff to run front offices or teams across the league. Yet he may have finally earned the award in his 12th season as GM because of what he didnt do. In the wake of a devastating loss to Miami in the NBA Finals last season, Buford didnt panic. He didnt give up on an aging Manu Ginobili. He didnt let Tiago Splitter get lured away by big money elsewhere. He followed the Spurs creed: Stay the course. Believe in the system. Never give in to outside influence. While other teams chased huge stars and made big splashes, Buford quietly re-signed Ginobili and Splitter and added second-tier free agent Marco Belinelli. The moves werent flashy, but were exactly what the Spurs, who enter Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals on Friday night leading Portland 1-0, needed to recover from that bitter defeat. "Its pretty cool," Popovich said. "Were all excited for him; long overdue. Hes done a great job for a very long time. Were giving him the requisite amount of you-know-what all over the offices. He walks down the halls we hit the walls we hit the sides to make room for him." Buford received nine first-place votes and 58 total points to win the award. Phoenixs Ryan McDonough (47) finished second for his superb job in turning the Suns from an afterthought into a 48-win team that just missed the playoffs. Neil Olshey, who added Robin Lopez, Dorell Wright and Thomas Robinson to bolster the Trail Blazers depth and get them into the playoffs, finished third in the voting with 34 points. Torontos Masai Ujiri and Miamis Pat Riley rounded out the top five. Popovich and Buford have made the Spurs the envy of the league, assembling one of the most uniquely stable systems in professional sports built around Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Ginobili, a trio that has won three championships together and keep coming back for more. "Weve been working with each other for a long time," Popovich said. "We participate in everything. Its been a great relationship in that regard. We share everything its benefited both of us and the organization without a doubt. Just having that ability to communicate and having an owner that allows us to do that." Popovich gets more of the credit for making the Spurs machine go, and thats just fine with Buford. But most around the league, and certainly everyone in San Antonio, recognizes what a big role Buford has played in helping the Spurs avoid the teardowns that almost every franchise has endured since he and Pop took over. "You recognize how difficult that is and how fortunate weve been that an ownership group has allowed us to stay together and have the opportunity to survive through the growing pains," Buford said. "To have a group of players that have wanted to be a part of what this community of San Antonio and what our fans mean to them. To have wanted to stay with an ownership group the sacrifices that theyve made to make this a unique environment and then how theyve handled themselves that presents a platform that other players want to come join. "Again, were not in this to win an award. Were in this to try to win a championship. Thats the reward were all hoping for." Lauri Markkanen Jersey . Fifth-seeded Cilic gained his fourth title in Zagreb and became the third Croat overall to win at least 10 career titles. Cilic also lifted his career record in Zagreb to 22-4, winning 20 of his last 21 matches at the event. Kris Dunn Jersey . But defending champion Elena Vesnina of Russia held off a strong challenge to beat Shuai Peng of China 6-3, 6-4, and there was another hard-fought victory for 2012 runner-up Angelique Kerber of Germany, who defeated Alison Riske of the United States 7-6 (6), 6-4. SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. -- Inbee Park set many golfing goals. Etching her name alongside Babe Zaharias was never one of them. Yet now theyre the only two players to win the first three majors of the year. Park became the first to accomplish the feat in the modern era Sunday with her second U.S. Womens Open title. "Trying to put my name next to hers means just so much," Park said. "I would think I would never get there; its somewhere that Ive never dreamed of. But all of a sudden, Im there." The worlds top-ranked player finished at 8 under to win by four strokes. Her 2-over 74 in the final round was more than enough, with Sebonacks trying conditions keeping any rivals from making a run. Only three players were under par for the tournament. Fellow South Korean I.K. Kim also shot 74 for her second runner-up finish at a major. Zaharias won the years first three majors in 1950 -- back when there were only three. Now there are five, so Grand Slam might not quite be the right term if Park wins all of them. Ahead by four strokes at the start of the round, Park birdied the ninth and 10th holes to extend her lead. She has won six times already this year, including three straight tournaments. Park added to another historic U.S. Womens Open victory in 2008, when she became the events youngest champion at age 19. "I didnt know what was going on at that time," Park said. "I played very good golf then, but I didnt know what I was playing for, and that was just my first win. It was a great championship then, but now I think I really appreciate more and I really know what this means." So Yeon Ryu shot 72 to finish third at 1 under. South Korean players took the top three spots and have won the last five majors. Ryu and Na Yeon Choi, the last two U.S. Womens Open champs, sprayed Park with champagne after she made her final putt on the 18th green. With lashing wind and devilish greens, Sebonack was a classically troublesome U.S. Womens Open course. And once Park built a lead, nobody could mount a charge. She certainly wasnt going to make enough mistakes to come back to the field. Park had just 10 bogeys and no double bogeys in four rounds. She predicted Saturday that shooting even par in the final round would be enough, and she sure was right. All of four players were under par Sunday -- though that was still more than the third round, when only Park achieved it. Kim birdied No. 2 to pull within three strokes; she couldnt claw closer. And when she bogeyed the fourth hole, the deficit was back to four shots. John Paxson Jersey. Park bogeyed the sixth and seventh, but so did Kim. Kim had what would have qualified as a sensational week if not for Park, finishing at least three strokes better than everyone but the player currently dominating the sport. "You can obviously feel for someone like I.K. Kim who would be winning any other U.S. Open on this golf course if it werent for Inbee," said seven-time major champion Karrie Webb. This was Kims fourth top-four finish at a U.S. Womens Open, but shes still seeking her first major title. She was a foot away last year at the Kraft Nabisco, then missed a short putt on No. 18 that would have clinched the championship and went on to lose in a playoff. Asked if she feels shes on the verge of a major breakthrough, Kim paused for a moment then said: "Yeah, to be honest, yeah, its time to win it." "But I think things have to come naturally," she added, "and its great to play with Inbee, and shes doing so well. Seeing her doing it, it just makes me want it more." Americans Paula Creamer (72) and Angela Stanford (74) and Englands Jodi Ewart Shadoff (76) tied for fourth at 1 over. Shadoff was alone in third at 3 under after the third round but opened Sunday with three straight bogeys. Soon-to-be Oklahoma State player Casie Cathrea shot 70 on Sunday to match Shanshan Feng for the best round of the day and finish as the low amateur at 9 over. Lydia Ko, the 16-year-old New Zealander who won the Canadian Open last August to become the youngest LPGA Tour winner, was next at 11 over. Maude-Aimee LeBlanc of Sherbrooke, Que., closed with an 80, to finish at 23 shots back at 15-over 303. Brooke Mackenzie Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont., had a 77, to wind up at 307. Park also became the second player to win the U.S. Womens Open after victories in her previous two tournaments. Mickey Wright did it in 1964. The 24-year-old Park won the Kraft Nabisco and LPGA Championship for her first two major titles of the year. Up next is the Womens British Open at St. Andrews on Aug. 1-4. The Evian Championship is Sept. 12-15. Park won the French event last year before it became a major championship. Park contemplated the current definition of a Grand Slam. "So I think the British Open is one I have to win," she said. "So it would be great if I could win five, but I still think four means a Grand Slam. Laughing, she added: "I think four out of five is very big." Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '