Tony Parker refused to consider it, though it can't be ruled out.
Those last, agonizing moments of the NBA Finals may have been the last we see of these San Antonio Spurs.
Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Parker have been together for more than a decade, through more than 100 postseason victories. They are proud winners who have endured some crushing defeats, but nothing ever hurt like this NBA championship that got away.
"It's tough to come so close," Parker said. "Those last two games are tough, especially Game 6."
San Antonio officially lost its chance for a fifth NBA title with its 95-88 loss to the Miami Heat in Game 7 on Thursday night. But the Game 6 defeat, when the Spurs couldn't hold a five-point lead in the final half-minute of regulation, is the one they might lament far longer.
The Spurs have always gotten back up when knocked down, even when it was done in such a tough manner.
When Derek Fisher's stunning shot with 0.4 seconds left helped send the Los Angeles Lakers past the Spurs in the second round of the 2004 playoffs, San Antonio came back and won the title the next year.
When the Dallas Mavericks ousted them with a Game 7 overtime victory in San Antonio in the 2006 playoffs, the Spurs came back and won the title the next year.
Coming back from this one might be a far tougher task.
Duncan is 37, still near the very top of the list of NBA big men but approaching the final steps of a path that will end up in the Hall of Fame. Ginobili will be a 36-year-old free agent next month whose game shows signs of a drop-off, his body no longer always able to execute some of those daring plays his mind thinks up.
It's been a heartbreaking year on the court for Ginobili, starting when the Spurs blew a 2-0 lead against Oklahoma City in the 2012 Western Conference finals. Argentina then missed a chance for another Olympic medal when it was edged by Russia in the third-place game in London, and now this.
So he wasn't able to consider his future in the moments after Game 7, saying it wasn't the time.
"At this point, it's very hard because we are all sad and disappointed, but as I said before, when there's such a fine line and we were so close of winning it, I mean, everything can be like failure or success just because of a shot," Ginobili said. "You understand what I'm saying? So I am trying to put things in perspective, but it's very hard. And the next few days are going to be very hard."
Parker is only 31, but like Ginobili has played so many games in the NBA and with his national team that it's not surprising his body betrays him. This time it happened at the worst time, a hamstring strain in the finals that may have contributed to his poor shooting nights in the final two games.
The Spurs didn't feel they needed to change last year, even after the Thunder vaulted past them to the top of the West, believing another year of growth for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green was the improvement they needed, and they may decide they can bring this group back one more time.
But Russell Westbrook should be back for Oklahoma City after a knee injury in the playoffs knocked the All-Star out of the lineup for the No. 1 seed, and the West is always loaded with three or four other contenders.
Leonard appears to be a star in the making, and Green had a record-setting start to the finals before fizzling out at the finish. They could be even better all-around players next year. San Antonio has one of the league's best front offices, finding talent around the globe, so count on the Spurs finding someone who can help them out.
Coach Gregg Popovich said he'll be back, though he loses an important member of his staff with Mike Budenholzer leaving to become coach of the Atlanta Hawks.
|Carolina||3||1st Qtr 7:20|
|Detroit||0||1st Qtr 7:50|
|Oakland||0||1st Qtr 9:40|
|Arizona||7||1st Qtr 9:40|
|St. Louis||0||1st Qtr 8:35|
|TBA||1/3/15 2:00 AM|
|TBA||1/3/15 2:00 AM|
|TBA||1/4/15 2:00 AM|
|TBA||1/4/15 2:00 AM|
|Oklahoma City||6:30 PM|
|New York||8:00 PM|
|Central Conn St||48||FINAL|
|Long Beach State||67||FINAL|
|Coast Guard||48||2nd Half 0:53|
|Thomas (GA)||39||2nd Half 10:39|
|Texas Southern||43||2nd Half 8:03|
|Rutgers||50||2nd Half 6:29|
|NC Wesleyan||42||2nd Half 5:37|
|South Dakota St||55||2nd Half 5:09|
|Central Penn College||53||2nd Half 7:15|
|Bowling Green||58||2nd Half 7:40|
|Harris-Stowe||59||2nd Half 3:07|
|SE Missouri St||86|
|Robert Morris-IL||52||2nd Half 3:04|
|Northland College||59||2nd Half 0:44|
|North Dakota St||81|
|Milwaukee||51||2nd Half 4:26|
|Northwestern St||53||2nd Half 16:15|
|Saint Peters||15||2nd Half|
|St Katherine||26||1st Half 2:30|
|Haskell||14||1st Half 6:48|
|Wake Forest||25||1st Half 2:58|
|Fla Gulf Coast||16||1st Half 7:39|
|SD Christian||11||1st Half 3:41|
|Miss Valley St||4:00 PM|
|Delaware State||4:00 PM|
|NW Christian||5:00 PM|
|UC Davis||5:00 PM|
|Abilene Christian||5:00 PM|
|Stony Brook||7:00 PM|
|(15) Arizona State||36||FINAL|
|Texas A&M||12/29/14 1:00 PM|
|Oklahoma||12/29/14 4:30 PM|
|Arkansas||12/29/14 8:00 PM|
|Notre Dame||12/30/14 2:00 PM|
|(13) Georgia||12/30/14 5:45 PM|
|Maryland||12/30/14 9:00 PM|
|(9) Ole Miss||12/31/14 11:30 AM|
|(21) Boise State||12/31/14 3:00 PM|
|(8) Miss State||12/31/14 7:00 PM|
|(10) Georgia Tech|
|(19) Auburn||1/1/15 11:00 AM|
|(7) Michigan State||1/1/15 11:30 AM|
|(16) Missouri||1/1/15 12:00 PM|
|(2) Florida State||1/1/15 4:00 PM|
|(5) Ohio State||1/1/15 7:30 PM|
|Houston||1/2/15 11:00 AM|
|Iowa||1/2/15 2:20 PM|
|(11) Kansas State||1/2/15 5:45 PM|
|Washington||1/2/15 9:15 PM|
|East Carolina||1/3/15 11:00 AM|
|Toledo||1/4/15 8:00 PM|
|(10) Oregon State||63||FINAL|
|William & Mary||56|
|(20) Michigan State||57|
|(24) Green Bay||66||FINAL|
|UNC Greensboro||41||2nd Half 12:04|
|Denver||51||2nd Half 5:53|
|VA Commonwealth||60||2nd Half 6:37|
|Huston-Tillotson||28||2nd Half 3:40|
|Lamar||51||2nd Half 8:41|
|Miss Valley St||34||2nd Half 6:14|
|Saint Louis||52||2nd Half 5:13|
|Middle Tennessee||77||2nd Half 4:53|
|Penn State||41||2nd Half 9:59|
|Purdue||44||2nd Half 7:18|
|DePaul||88||2nd Half 7:56|
|Sam Houston St||33||2nd Half 7:48|
|South Dakota||42||2nd Half 17:24|
|(4) Notre Dame||28||1st Half 5:28|
|Coll of Charleston||16||1st Half 4:57|
|Alcorn State||10||1st Half 6:44|
|Dartmouth||34||1st Half 3:07|
|Colgate||0||1st Half 20:00|
|Michigan||20||1st Half 3:27|
|Fla Gulf Coast||4||1st Half 15:37|
|(25) Arizona State|
|UC Santa Barbara||4:00 PM|
|Long Island||4:00 PM|
|Long Beach St|
|Jackson State||4:00 PM|