Many of you know I love basketball. I love the NCAA tournament and always watch a good part of it including the finals. When it comes to the NBA, I'm a little more discriminating. Usually I watch the tournament games that include the Jazz and the Celtics and hope they go far. Once those two teams are out, my interest usually fades and I may or may not watch the finals. It depends on how busy I am.
This year was different. The Jazz didn't even make it to the tournament and then the Celtics were eliminated. But I still watched.
Because I wanted to see Miami eliminated. And with each round, I feared they might take it all. In my mind, this was unacceptable.
To join your rivals so you can get a ring feels cheap and unfulfilling to me. It's the equivalent of the kid on the playground who's getting bullied. I'd want that kid to learn martial arts or boxing and stick up for himself so with self respect, he defeats the bullies and leaves the playground a better person.
When LeBron James "took his talents to Miami," he decided that the best way to take care of the bully situation was to become a bully. He could join forces with a bunch of other strong kids and then he could rule the playground. They could strut and posture and intimidate with their menacing stance and scare all the other kids into submission. Then once they've walked all over everyone and won their championship, we could all watch him them walk into the sunset, the champions. And to add to the drama, LeBron could take off his jersey so we could read his tattoo that says "Chosen 1" as he left us all in awe, worshipping King James for his mad skills.
This entire scenario made me sick. From "The Decision" press conference until the finals, I rooted against them. How could I not? I've never once in my life cheered for the gang of bullies that pick on everyone else. Why would I start now?
Making it to the finals was more than I wanted for them. If I could have picked my preferred end to Miami's season, it would have been elimination in the first round. But with each round that they advanced, I got more concerned that they might actually do what they said they were going to do at the Miami party last fall. You know, the party that celebrated their championship before they'd actually won it.
I'd just like to thank Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Tyson Chandler, and Barea for taking down the bullies. And they did it without bullying and posturing and intimidating. They did it playing hard and working as a team.
Dwyane Wade and LeBron James were caught on film making fun of Nowitzki's bout with the flu. Nowitzki asked his team to ignore it and focus on the game. There's a lot of symbolism in that little exchange. You could compare their maturity, their humility and arrogance, whether they focus on the game or focus on themselves.
I guess the "Chosen 1" will have to try to add another bully to his gang and give it another try next year.
Congratulations, Dallas! And thank you!