Well another season is done and it offered many surprises along the way. What started with a decision and a pre-season championship celebration ended with Mark Cuban's Mavs winning it all. No one could have seen that coming. Dirk Nowitzki had been known for failure more than success. He won the MVP and then his team was knocked out in the first round. He lost to Miami with Wade and Shaq after seemingly having the series under control. If anyone was going to stop the MWO and South Beach Heat few would have said it would be the under achieving German superstar. I admit I have always been one of the people that have never given the Mavs a ton of credit. They were always a team that choked in the clutch. But they are no longer that, they will forever be NBA Champions. Perhaps the most unlikely Champions in the NBA since the Pistons stunned Kobe and Shaq in the NBA Finals and won a title with Larry Brown.
Celebrate the Mavs for what they did. For the fact a number of veteran guys were able to finally win a title. Earlier in the week I heard Charles Barkley on the radio talking about why people don't like the Miami Heat. He said it was the arrogance of how easy they felt it would be to win a championship. Something that Barkley was never able to accomplish. He like other greats like Pat Ewing, Karl Malone and a list of many others spent a career chasing that elusive championship. Lebron James has been chasing a title too. After years of trying and failing with little support in Cleveland he became part of this group that decided to join forces and look for the fast track to the NBA Title. But the short cut only got them to the door step of that title. Only to see a group that they likely never expected to see celebrate on their home floor. It was suppose to be Kobe and Lakers to challenge this group not the Mavs. But the Mavs swept them away and ended Phil Jackson's career in utterly stunning fashion. They in equally stunning fashion stunned the Miami Heat.
Mark Cuban deserves great credit for taking a team that was always in second place to the Dallas Cowboys and making them relevant in Dallas. Something we can relate to in Toronto with the Raptors always being in the shadow of hockey and Maple Leafs. Cuban took this franchise from no where and ultimately has been rewarded with a championship. There is no owner in the NBA that I would be more happy for. He has been fined by the league and shot off his mouth for years with the goal of challenging this league and his team to be better. In a true act of class Cuban allowed the first ever owner of the Mavs to be given the NBA Championship. Something he has worked hard for and spent a ton of money for and yet he allows someone else to touch the trophy he has wanted for so long before him. Mark Cuban makes more money than Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh combined. Yet people for the most part love Cuban and hate them. The act of Cuban doing something classy like that is part of why. But the deeper reason is we see Mark Cuban as a fan like us. While Lebron James tells all of you that cheer in his demise that eventually you will have to go back to your actual lives. That he will be happy with his life and choices he has made. Mark Cuban is a guy that you believe if you met him in a bar he would likely have a beer with you and talk to you for 5 minute. The MWO are guys that hang out in the VIP area and would not be caught dead hanging with you common folks.
It was a great season in a lot of ways. It might have been the start of a changing of the guard in the NBA. Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin lead a new generation of superstars that are looking to take the torch from the Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and other superstars coming to the end of the line. In fact with the uncertain future of an NBA Lockout who is to say we have not seen the last of more than just Shaq when we are playing basketball again.
Ironically after one of the best seasons in the NBA in a long time and followed by one of the most interesting playoffs in years the NBA stands on the abyss of joining the NFL is labour hell. We will be lucky if we see another basketball game in the NBA in 2011. That is not exactly something anyone wants to hear but it could in fact be the reality.
Mavericks won a title the right way and although I really have no love for them, I do respect what they have done. At least I am honest about it. I never picked them to win any of the 4 series they did win. I am not going to be a hypocrite like so many made themselves by cheering for anyone that could stop the Miami Heat. Pumping up the Mavericks more as a way to insult the Heat. For those that are true Mavericks fans I offer sincere congratulations. For those of you just cheering for Miami to lose, I just shake my head. People mocking Chris Bosh for crying but applauding Dirk for doing the same. At the end of the day people that root against the Heat have become just as bad as the guys they hate. In fact perhaps more so.
Miami will be back and depending on how the CBA turns out they could be much stronger when they do. But the real story now is when will you get to see basketball again? Not even the MWO can stop a lockout. Only David Stern and Billy Hunter can get that done. It could be a long a cruel summer turning into a long and cold fall without basketball. It is a shame coming off such a great season of basketball.