The NBA playoffs are a roller coaster of emotions for fans and friends of Kelly Olynyk.
That includes Del Komarniski, who coached the Heat center at South Kamloops High School.
British Columbian has been used to varying degrees by Erik Spoelstra at Disney.
Olynyk, however, obtained big minutes in games 2 and 3 of the final against the Lakers, in the absence of Bam Adebayo. The latter is injured in the neck.
In Game 2, Olynyk collected 24 points, setting a record for a Canadian in the NBA Finals.
The 29-year-old went on to collect 17 points in Game 3, helping Miami to win 115-104.
Olynyk admitted that it is not easy to have an uncertain role.
“It's a weird feeling and I'm not going to lie, it's not easy,” he said. It must be said that an opportunity will eventually arise.
“You wonder though if this is the last time you have such an opportunity. You have to stay prepared, because hard work always pays off. "
In the third game, Olynyk notably absorbed an offensive foul from Anthony Davis, who was punished a third time, then he managed a steal at the expense of LeBron James, with just under three minutes on the clock.
"He's always ready," said Jay Triano, who has long led the Canadian national team. Spoelstra is a very good coach… he is not afraid to vary his strategies. As good as Davis is on the inside, Kelly gets the Lakers to look to other options. They also have to worry about three-pointers. "
Olynyk was 3-for-5 on long-range shots in Game 3.
Komarniski made Olynyk his playmaker when he played against older kids in high school. He was then six feet two inches tall.
“But given his skills, I was comfortable and felt he could do it,” said Komarniski. He knew how to shoot and handle the ball well. Even against older guys he was very good at leading our attack. "
By the end of high school, Olynyk was six foot 11 tall.
Komarniski, who still teaches at South Kamloops but retired as a coach after 30 years, remains close to Olynyk and his parents - Arlene, who has long been a scorer for the Toronto Raptors, and Ken, who has been a head coach with the University of Toronto.
Komarniski also helps Olynyk organize his annual summer camp for young people.
“I've spoken to him a lot last week,” Olynyk said. He has always supported me. He helped me tremendously to get to Gonzaga first and then to the NBA. He has a great sense of basketball.
“He did a lot of good things for basketball in Kamloops. I am happy to have him in my life. "
Olynyk was a key player for the Maple Leaf. Ill was in camp for the 2019 World Cup in China, but injured his knee in an exhibition game against Nigeria.
“The national team has been crucial in my development,” said Olynyk. In tournaments, almost every game is eliminatory, so to speak. It prepares a little for what we are going through at the moment. "
Komarniski is impressed by Olynyk's determination.
“He always kept a good attitude, a great work ethic and a passion for basketball. He is not discouraged.
“He has his criticisms, he had obstacles but he persevered, continued Komarniski, of the player who is in his seventh season in the NBA. He had some great moments, and I hope he will have more. "
Other Canadians shined in the bubble as well.
Montrealer Luguentz Dort of the Thunder wowed against James Harden and the Rockets in the first round, and Ontarian Jamal Murray was phenomenal over three rounds with the Nuggets.