Monday, June 13, 2011

Today's High 5 - NBA Finals edition

5. LeBron haters, led by classless Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, are in heaven. The Evil One not only lost in the NBA Finals but looked pretty feeble in doing so.

Only a pathetic loser wastes so much time and energy hating an athlete for merely making a basketball decision.

4. At the same time, I have little sympathy for LeBron, whom some have painted as a pitiable victim. He faced an unfair amount of scrutiny, his apologists claim.

Please. He couldn't have handled his exit from Cleveland more poorly. He made his choice. He gets to live with the consequences.

Bottom line: In the most important games of his career, when he had a chance to make the haters eat crow, he pissed down his leg.

3. My fellow Marquetter Dwyane Wade did his best to carry LeBron during the Finals but he, too, cracked under pressure. At least he's already got his ring.

2. In a move even bolder than the '85 Bears doing the Super Bowl Shuffle at midseason, Mavs guard Jason Terry got a tattoo of the NBA championship trophy. After some early-series struggles, he played huge in the final two games and earned the right to keep his ink.

Terry, Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion and several other Dallas veterans showed how hard work, stick-to-itiveness and teamwork can yield incredible results.

Those were good stories for the victors, and yet I was more interested in the one authored by Tyson Chandler. Practically run out of Chicago by a Bulls management team that thought he lacked heart, the Mavs center got one important offensive rebound after another.

Who'd have thought he'd be the first post-Jordan Bulls draft pick to win an NBA title?

1. Larry Bird averaged 24 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists during his amazing career, rescued a Celtics franchise that had lost its way and led Boston to three titles -- including one in just his second season.

There isn't a soul who would compare Dirk Nowitzki to Bird if both men weren't white. Nowitzki is no Larry Bird.

That being said, it was nice to see Dirk win his first title and play so well in taking the Mavs to their first ever championship.

His fourth-quarter offensive performances throughout the playoffs helped erase the bitter memory of his 2006 choke job in the Finals. It must have been a huge weight off his shoulders.

This time, he completely took charge -- just as Bird and Jordan and Magic did in their day. And just as LeBron couldn't do for the Heat.

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