It is hard to believe but it has only been two days since the Mavs won the 2011 championship. The victory parade will take place in Dallas on Thursday. Dirk Nowitzki won the MVP in convincing fashion, demonstrating what Mavericks have known for years, #41 is a beast! The Mavs won the title with grit, superior passing, key strategic adjustments, outstanding teamwork, and clutch play. And yet, as I watched Sportscenter and listened to talk radio (I do not live in Texas), all I heard about was LeBron James and the Miami Heat.
While I understand that there is story there, especially given the way the Heat began the year with more hype than Oprah’s final show, the Mavericks won! The Dallas Mavericks simply do not get any respect. While everyone gives them the old tip of the cap, no one really wants to talk about them unless it is about whether they can repeat.
This is nothing new and I guess we should be used to it. The same thing happened after the Mavs swept, and eliminated, the two-time defending champion Lakers. All the talk was about the decline of the dynasty. Would the Lakers need to be rebuilt? Who would replace Phil Jackson? How much does Kobe Bryant have left? The excuse that was given for the extension Laker coverage was that they would have plenty of time to discuss the Mavericks in the Conference Finals. But history continues to repeat itself.
The Mavericks beat the Heat in six games by winning the last three games, including the clincher in Miami, and they are the afterthought. With a lockout looming, we should have plenty of time to discuss how LeBron James came up short in the clutch. We have all summer to discuss and contrast LeBron James and Michael Jordan (there is NO comparison). Right now it is the Mavericks time.
To the victors go the spoils. Why not talk about how Jason Kidd played much better than anyone expected, especially on the defensive end of the court? Lets discuss how Tyson Chandler brought some much needed energy and completely bought into the defense-first mindset of coach Rick Carlisle. Or how about how Jason Terry went off, demonstrating the killer instinct that the Heat lacked, when it was time to close out the opponents?
The Mavericks have plenty of storylines to discuss. They won this series. The Heat did not lose it. Granted the Heat could have played better. But maybe, just maybe, the Mavericks had a little something to do with that. Perhaps the Mavericks are better than people want to give them credit for. They had to beat difficult opponent every series. They were underdogs in all but one, against the Thunder. Even against Portland, the Blazers were the upset special that everyone thought would win. The Mavs proved their greatness. Repeatedly. Now they deserve the glory. So come on you media guys. Give the boys from Big D their due.