I want to apologize for how late this post is. With my Vegas trip kicking off right after the NBA Finals concluded, I did not have the time to post in a timely manner. So I hope all of you are not too sick of the subject already to hear my meaningless two cents on the series.
First off, I am ashamed at how badly I predicted the 2011 NBA Finals. If you want the full post on my disastrous pick, click here. If you want to save yourself some time, let me just tell you that my prediction was pretty brutal. I made no reservations whatsoever in saying that the Heat would trample all over the Mavericks and embarrass them in five games, ultimately winning the championship on the home court of Dallas. Little did I know that the Mavericks would do pretty much the exact opposite to the Heat. Yes, I was wrong. I should have given the Mavericks a whole lot more credit.
How happy are you for Dirk Nowitzki? Very hard to have any bitter feelings about this guy winning a title. You win points from me if you work hard, don’t complain, and excel at your trade. Dirk has been with the Mavs his whole career and never gave anything less than 100%. I will be honest, I am not a very big fan of foreign players….but I am a fan of Dirk. I think it is fitting that he had an unreal Finals series, a great showcase for him in front of a huge national audience. By just about averaging a double-double during the championship series (26.0 points, 9.7 rebounds), Dirk left no question about being named the Finals MVP. By winning this championship, he really elevated the status of his legacy. Agree with it or not, all the great athletes are defined by whether they win a title or not.
It is just not Dirk who I am happy for though. I felt a championship was a great reward for Jason Kidd, a player who I remember watching when I first started getting into sports in the second grade. I idolized him and Grant Hill when they came into the league together as hot shot rookies. Jason Terry? How cool of a story is that? The guy gets the championship trophy tattooed on his arm before the season starts and then pledges to remove it if the Mavs do not win it all. Well Jason, your tattoo is safe. Not only is it safe, you also played a great series. Then there is Mark Cuban, a real owner in every sense of the word. I am glad he got a ring and I am praying to God that Major League Baseball allows him to buy the Dodgers. I think it would be great. Bottom line, I am just happy for the team as a whole. Colin Cowherd said on his show that the Dallas Mavericks are one of the nicest teams in sports. He said they have the most welcoming and respectful locker room in the business. You got to respect that. Congrats Mavs.
Okay, onto Lebron James. For anyone who follows my Twitter account or talks to me on a regular basis, you know I am not a Lebron fan. He thinks he is bigger than the game and committed the cardinal sin of not treating the game with respect when he staged “The Decision” last summer. I must say that my respect for Lebron did elevate a little during the playoffs. The King was phenomenal. He was clutch. He was saying the right things. Coming into the playoffs I always thought he was overrated. But he really impressed me during the playoffs….until the finals. Throughout the whole series, the media made a big deal over what was going on in Lebron’s personal life that was causing him to play so bad. Who knows what it was…if anything. I do support the notion though that no matter how tough you are, if you have serious issues in your personal life, it is hard to perform at 100% at your day job. So I do sympathize a little with Lebron if that was the case. With that said, no matter what was going on in his personal life, there is no way there should have been that big of a drop off in his play. Dude just did not show up. Yeah, I feel Lebron got what was coming to him. However, I can’t laugh that hard because I know he will probably end up with his fair share of championships. I predict the Heat to win it all next year (if there is a season).
A common question on sports talk radio and ESPN was whether this year was a failure or success for the Miami Heat. I say for the Heat it was a success. They improved drastically and made the NBA Finals. They won the Eastern Conference Championship. However, I say the season was a failure for Lebron. When you did what he did on the national stage (“The Decision”), it is pretty much championship or bust. Besides, Lebron was in the NBA Finals just a few years ago. He had already accomplished that. The comments and the tweet James sent after game six were bunk. What a conceded, arrogant, bush league athlete. Drawing attention specifically to his tweet about “the guy upstairs” not thinking “it was time” for him to win a championship really rubbed me the wrong way. I am pretty sure God has many more things to worry about than a basketball game. And while we are at it, that tweet was sent out at 1am on the east coast. Have a clue Lebron. Again though, I know I need to tone down my rage because I do expect James to be hoisting the championship trophy next year (if there is a season).
So there are my rambling thoughts on the NBA Finals. It was a tremendous NBA season. Playoff ratings were through the roof. Fans who had been away from the game came back this year. Kudos to the players, organizations, and league officials who made this season great. NOW DO SOMETHING TO MAKE SURE THERE IS NO LOCKOUT NEXT SEASON. Don’t Blink.