I swear this post was going to only reference the new NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks. In my defense over a month ago I was soliciting Mark Cuban to use his TV show to help convince the national media the Mavs were worth their attention…which they were not getting even after sweeping the Lakers.
Dallas’ 105-95 win last night to clinch the series 4-2 was as surreal as it was…eventually… definitive. Dirk Nowitzki was 1 of 12 at halftime…and the Mavericks were still up 53-51. While he was sputtering, the rest of the team was shooting over 60%…led by Jason Terry’s 8 of 10. Terry scored the last 10 points of the first half for the Mavs, who even had a 12 point lead at one point.
The Mavericks came out of the locker room resolute…won the third quarter by 7…and that was pretty much that. Miami got within 4 with 10 minutes left but JJ Barea promptly drilled a key 3-pointer to maintain a healthy margin…which once again ballooned up to 12 at one point before the final buzzer.
This post should only be about the Dallas Mavericks who many analysts picked…when asked which first-round NBA Playoff favorite was most likely to be beaten. They kept their veteran focus and maintained their collective professionalism in spite of the critics…even after a historic collapse in Portland within that first-round…and went about their mission to win a long-elusive Championship.
However…I am forced to mention LeBron James here as well.
I was determined to not bring up when the score was 95-87 down the stretch…and it was clear Miami was in complete and total disarray…he caught not one but two passes in a possession and threw them both back so fast it looked like a game of “hot potato.” He had no interest whatsoever in determining the Heat’s fate.
I was determined to not bring up a comment issued on Twitter from his account after the game which said, “The Greater Man upstairs know when it’s my time. Right now isn’t the time.” I pray that was in reference to Heat President Pat Riley, because Pat…not God…cares how many titles LeBron gets.
No, what I didn’t count on and am forced to mention about LeBron James is this…
“All the people that were rooting me on to fail, at the end of the day they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life they had before. They have the same personal problems they had to today. I’m going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things that I want with me and my family and be happy with that. They can get a few days or a few months or whatever the case may be on being happy that not only myself, but the Miami Heat not accomplishing their goal. But they’ll have to get back to the real world at some point.”
I had decided some time ago to forgive James’ egocentric ”Decision,” push his Miami Heat smoke machine/disco ball party shortly thereafter all to the sidelines…and truly give LeBron a chance to redeem himself in my eyes.
Not only did he pass off on that chance – as he passed off most of the time during these NBA Finals – I am now firmly convinced after his post-game comments the best way for me to view him is through the eyes of those who excuse his actions and words with “well, he’s just a 26-year-old kid.”
Yes, I am completely convinced that is the best way for me to view LeBron James now. He’s just a kid. Regardless of all his fortune you can clearly see and hear…he’s…just…a… kid.
Way to man up, Mavs. Mission accomplished.