Lebron James, who took his narcissistic self and ‘talents’ to Miami in July 2010, has just learned that his ego can’t win championships.
With nobody on their side, the Dallas Mavericks finally proved us wrong. They won the NBA Finals on Sunday night, with a 105-95 conquest of the Miami Heat, destroying, in an instant, whatever doubts we still had about this team. Dallas earned this title, Miami didn’t give it away, and the Mavericks are as deserving a champion as we’ve seen in this league. What a difference a half-decade makes.
It took months for us to find out what the Mavericks knew they had in them from the start. Nobody doubted Dallas’ abilities as a fringe championship contender before the season, but it was just one in a group of strong Finals hopefuls from the Western Conference when the season started. Losing what many assumed to be its second-best player to a season-ending injury midway through 2010-11, a slow start to finish the regular season that actually had coaches hoping to pair up against Dallas in the postseason, few picking it to win the first round, and a second round meeting with the defending championship Lakers all added to that doubt.
This wasn’t a team of destiny like Miami, on the vanguard like Chicago, or battle-tested like the Lakers, Celtics and Spurs. This was just an expertly coached group of talented players who, working with the whole as greater than the sum of its parts, just had enough to win it all, with nary a caveat to be found.
Some will try to create some. Miami’s top-heavy roster had the home-court advantage, and several chances to pull out wins in each of Dallas’ four Finals victories. LeBron James(notes), as he’s been all series, was uncomfortable and not much of a contributor down the stretch of Sunday’s Game 6, despite roaring out of the gate with four straight made shots to begin the game. Dwyane Wade(notes) was carrying the team, but he could barely carry the ball at times as he registered five turnovers. Chris Bosh(notes) shot well, making 7-of-9 turns from the floor, but not all that often. And Miami’s depth paled in comparison to Dallas’.
I’m not a big fan of Mark Cuban, the Mavericks, or basketball, for that matter. But I can’t help taking a big fucking gulp from the schadenfreude mug over Lebron’s defeat.
He owes the city of Cleveland an apology, not for what he did, but how he did it. Looks like ‘the king’ will have to wait a while longer for that championship ring.