Wednesday, June 21, 2006

All's Well That Ends...

As I watched Game 6 of the NBA Finals in my hometown of Dallas, Texas, I was deeply saddened. I was saddened because Dallas shot so poorly tonight, and chose so many ill-advised shots throughout this game. In fact, as I write this, I am fighting back internal tears that I have welled up as a Mavs fan since 1980.

We gave away Game 3. We did. We gave away Game 5, by not making our freethrows. We gave away Game 6, by not going to the hole, and by slowing the game down. Wade was amazing, as was Alonzo Mourning (questionable calls hack and goaltending, but great blocks), Walker and Haslem. Shaq played well too.

Nowitzki never got going in the entire finals. Dahniel Buie, a classmate of mine, questioned why Europeans go ghost during the big games? I wish I knew. He had NO presence in any of the four losses. It was JT's series without question. Even with all of that, Dallas still gave away Game 3 and Game Free Throws. I learned that when I was 9 years old, and lo these many years later, it's still true.

I am truly happy as a basketball fan for Alonzo Mourning, as well as for Gary Payton finally winning their championship. I am happy for my second favorite coach of the 1980s, Pat Riley, for winning his fifth championship.

I am happy for Coach Johnson, and the Mavericks as well. This hurts so badly writing this. If you know me, you know that I am extremely passionate about my hometown teams, and their livelihoods. The tears are creeping from the ducts now. You don't know what it's like growing up a Mavs fan, and loving that team through ups, downs, and everything else. You don't know what it's like to support them, and argue and fight for them, just for them to get to the pinnacle of greatness and then not to be able to have what it took to finish things. I don't care where you're from, and what team you support, but BELIEVE me, you don't know what it's like to be a Mavs fan, and have to go through this. To beat the best teams in the league and get to this one man show, and not be able to do it, is unacceptable and thoroughly disappointing.

The problem with the Mavericks was that they had a series of lapses during each game. Those lapses included turnovers, ill-advised shots and defensive breakdowns. Forget the referees, and the bullshit calls throughout the series, because in the end, it doesn't matter. You've got to play focused and maintain your focus and poise the entire game/series. Dallas, didn't do that. That emotional breakdown after Game 5 was uncalled for. The Mavs focus seemed to be on answering the problems from the previous game, instead of concerning themselves with this one.

I love the Mavs, and I look forward to another season, but this will hurt for a very long time. Now, unless you were with Miami from the jump, don't have the temerity to respond to this post. And when I say that, I mean if you said something to me before June 8th...then cool. If not, please save your breath.

I remember being a child in the 1980s when I watched the Pistons finally beat the Celtics before losing in 7 to the Lakers. I remember watching the Bulls finally beat the Pistons before beating L.A. I also remember Dallas beating San Antonio and Phoenix to make it to the Finals, two teams that had a mental hex on the Mavs. So, like Coach Johnson said, "We're defnitely headed in the right direction."

Once again, I really am happy for GP and Zo.

But hey, six weeks until training camp right?

I'm Joe, and that's how I see it.


At Wednesday, June 21, 2006 11:45:00 AM , Blogger jali said...

I shook my guy pretty hard to wake him up to tell him about the horrible bad dream I had last night. I dreamt that the Mavs lost.
He humored me for a few moments then laughed with glee, "Psyche! - my Heat are the world champs."

Really nice post.

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At Sunday, June 25, 2006 8:39:00 AM , Anonymous Mitch said...

Joe, very nice post. Sums it up well. To go from Uve Blab to an almost (and could have been) championship was fun, but heartbreaking. Unfortunately, ugly basketball won the series.


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