Wondering where the hell I’ve been the past couple weeks? Well, for those clever sports fans out there who know I hail from Dallas, perhaps you were able to be piece together the correlation between my disappearance and the beginning of the NBA Finals. Which, as you might guess, featured none other than my Dallas Mavericks. And as of last night folks, the Mavs are the 2011 NBA Champions! Hell Ya! It’s crazy I’m sure for many of you to discover the depth of my sports fandom. Considering how few sports fans I encounter in the spinning world, perhaps the significance of this achievement is going right over your head, but for me it’s awesome. That’s the best way I can phrase it. Awesome.
For my part, this win is both a culmination and validation. Culmination for the 2006 NBA Finals loss to the very same Miami Heat and the dreaded Dwyane Wade. With questionable referees and the greatest collapse in Mavs history, I was there at the very end, at the American Airlines Center in Game 6 as they lost it all. I stayed to watch the trophy presentation, not for my own team, but as the loser. And there is nothing more disheartening as a fan than getting that close, and seeing it all slip away right before your eyes. And I’m sure Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry weren’t too pleased either.
For years people have criticized Dirk as being too soft. As not being clutch. As perhaps being the greatest player never to win a ring. And while there was some truth in that, he left that all behind several years ago in my opinion. But without a ring, my favorite player was forever doomed to lack in the eyes of the media and the greater public.
Congratulation to the 2011 NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks for silencing those critics. Congratulations to Dirk and Terry for bringing this thing full circle. And congratulations to Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion, Tyson Chandler, J.J. Barea and all the rest for finally getting that first ring and bringing this thing home! It’s been one hell of a playoff run, and more importantly it’s been one hell of a decade rooting for this great team. 10 consecutive 50 win seasons finally adds up to one thing, a ring!
Dirk doesn’t have to listen to those nay-sayers who argue against his greatness with the age old argument of NBA titles. These Dallas Mavericks no longer have to hear about how soft they are, after out-hustling and out-gritting arguably the toughest and most athletic team in the NBA. And we can finally wash away that terrible taste of defeat 5 years ago and instead taste sweet, sweet victory.
This year’s championship meant something. It meant that you can still win the old-fashioned way, through determination, teamwork, and commitment. It’s one final stand against the notion of simply buying a championship by stacking the deck. Lebron, Wade, and Bosh are just going to have to wait. And this championship was truly a victory for those that believe heart is what matters most. Congrats again, and thanks for the ride! And to all those Heat fans and those Dirk haters:
“Take Dat Wit Chew!”