I’m no LeBron apologist. I was pulling for the Mavericks simply because I like Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd and Jason Terry. As a guy who is past his athletic prime, I liked that the 30-somethings won a title in an era of the NBA that seems to be promoting stars in their mid-20s or even younger.
Dirk is 34. I remember watching Jason Terry at Arizona when I had just finished my college days while Jason Kidd and I were freshmen in college the same year, 1992-93. Give it up for the guys who are closer to being out of the league than starting from scratch.
The Dallas Mavericks won the NBA title. They have the most colorful and one of the best owners in professional sports, who is also a bit of a humanitarian at heart. Mavs owner Mark Cuban said he’s footing the bill for the team’s championship parade given the city’s cash-strapped situation in a down economy.
The post NBA Finals stories should be all about the Mavericks. And yet there’s much more to read and hear about how the Heat lost the series and how LeBron got what he deserves in the frustrations rooted in failure.
I just don’t get it. The Mavericks played better than the Heat. They got more stops in crunchtime and they did a better job of executing their offense and making shots … plain and simple.
We have winners and losers in sports. The Mavs won and the Heat lost. The sports media needs to talk about the Mavs or move on to the next story. But no, we continue to expend energy and resources about LeBron and the Heat.
Most real NBA experts believes the Heat would need a year to gel with its trio of stars before it played its best basketball. There were times Miami looked mediocre this season, but it began to play better the second half of the season and looked awesome in the postseason up until the Finals. The Heat’s season was no failure and its future is not futile.
Many oddsmakers in this state have already set Miami as the favorite to win next season’s NBA championship.
Throughout the past few days I’ve heard folks calling for the head of Heat coach Eric Spoelstra. That’s a joke. His team lost in the Finals but it definitely got better as the season wore on. That’s a sign he was doing his job well. It can’t be any easy task to deal with the egos of stars like James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. I think he passed with flying colors.
One of the teams was going to lose in the Finals. No one expected Dallas to make a run to the Finals let alone win it all. Yet Dallas got better and better as the season wore on and through to the Finals. I doubt anyone would have been calling for the ouster of Mavs coach Rick Carlisle had Dallas lost.
You can’t argue that LeBron had a good Finals performance. He certainly did not. But the Heat defense, one of the best in the league all season, did not do its job against the Mavericks. The Heat did not lose the series solely because LeBron played poorly and that’s the way it’s being portrayed.
I’ve heard LeBron needs to develop more of a low-post game. The guy has been one of the leading scorers in the NBA since he joined the league. He does not need to revamp his game.
I’ve heard he has a mental block and needs to to see a sports psychologist to deal with his perceived late-game struggles.
You don’t get to his talent level without being able to overcome some adversity. How about this, considering he had a solid Game 1 of the Finals, let’s just consider he had a bad stretch of five games. He’s human. That happens to plenty of pro athletes. That’s what I’m going with. There’s no need to micro-analyze everything of his being.
Dan Eckles is the Sparks Tribune’s sports editor. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.