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NBA Finals 2011: Tell Me How My Dirk Tastes

Dirk Nowitzki came up big game after game, setting an example for Lebron James to aspire to. Dirk Nowitzki came up big game after game, setting an example for Lebron James to aspire to.

When Lebron James audibly sucked his teeth in the middle of his incredulous post-game rant after the Miami Heat were unceremoniously defeated by Dirk Nowitzki the Dallas Mavericks in Game 6 of the 2011 NBA Finals, every negative criticism ever lobbied at the man know as the greatest basketball player in the world came into crystalline focus.

In a moment when James could have risen above the world of pessimism that’s surrounded him from the moment he went on ESPN to announce his ill-advised “Decision” to take his talents to South Beach, he lashed out and made it so much worse.

As the staggering immaturity of Lebron James continues to baffle the world, what’s being overlooked is what Dallas achieved.

“At the end of the day, all the people that were rooting on me to fail, at the end of the day, they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today. They have the same personal problems they had today,” he seethed.

“They can get a few days or a few months or whatever the case may be on being happy about not only myself, but the Miami Heat not accomplishing their goal. But they have to get back to the real world at some point,” he continued, making sure that no one missed his point.

As the staggering immaturity of Lebron James continues to baffle the world, what’s being overlooked is what Dallas achieved. The Mavericks, led by “The German” Dirk Nowitzki, motored through the playoffs with the kind of team-first determination not seen since the Detroit Pistons shocked the world by handling the Los Angeles Lakers in five games to take the 2004 NBA championship. With role players like Shawn Marion and the 38-year-old Jason Kidd by his side, Nowitzki endured everything from the flu to being ridiculed by Heat stars James and Dwayne Wade to dominate Miami on his way to the series MVP award.

The team built by the Mavericks’ inimitable owner Mark Cuban specifically to defeat the Lakers did so in concise fashion. But the way they systematically reduced the “Big 3” of the Miami Heat to tears (literally, in the case of Chris Bosh) was more than shocking. For many, it was the result of karmic justice. The public arrogance and entitlement of the Heat turned Cuban (not exactly the most popular sports figures) into a folk hero and giant-killer. Nothing brings rivals together like a common enemy, with Lakers fans adopting the Mavericks as their ad hoc team to ensure that James did not get that coveted ring.

Of course, it’s not over. The potential firepower of the Miami Heat is still immense enough that they’re already a favorite to return to the Finals next year. Enduring such a public flameout is only valuable experience for the freshly minted team that will be in their prime for seasons to come.

Amidst this swirling NBA circus looms a potential lockout that could dramatically affect the coming 2011-2012 season. Coupled with the league’s marquee player leaving the NBA with a black eye as he stormed out of the ultimate defeat at the conclusion of Finals Game 6, the future is looking less than rosy for professional basketball. All the more reason NBA fans are clinging to this improbable David and Goliath story. It might be the last one they get to enjoy for a while.

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: NBA mini-movie about the Dallas Mavs defeating the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the finals to win the NBA championship.
Last modified on Wednesday, 22 August 2012 14:34

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