Monday, June 13, 2011

Not A Morality Play. Still, Karma Is A Bitch.

It would be the easiest thing in the world to say "I told you so" after the Miami Heat and the much-ballyhooed Big Three of Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James were dispatched in the NBA Finals in 6 games by the Dallas Mavericks, the final win taking place on the Heat's home floor.  So by all means let's do it:

Particularly, I direct your attention to the quote from legendary tough guy Paul Silas who at the time LeBron told a rapt America that he would "taking [his] talents to the South Beach" was telling ESPN Radio that James didn't have much of a killer instinct.  Silas was LeBron's first NBA coach.  So he should know whereof he spoke.  And LeBron's disappearing act late in games in the Finals, although he played pretty well last night, seems to bear that out.

Text from a friend Saturday: "Why can't LeBron make change for a dollar bill?"

"No 4th quarter."

While it is a safe bet that nobody outside of the Sunshine State was rooting for the Heat in this series, let's not make a morality play out of it.  Sure, LeBron's (and ESPN's) stupid decision to announce that he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers in prime time during a contrived "special" entitled "The Decision" in retrospect made LeBron, a guy who up until that point was not particularly known for hubris or arrogance, seem steeped in it.  And when James, Bosh and Wade were introduced to the Miami fans strutting around in their white home unis as if the NBA Title was a foregone conclusion it rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.  Myself included.

But let's not forget that, again, these guys didn't have bad reputations for being knuckleheads prior to that night.  And they still don't. Sure, Wade and James looked like a couple of punks for mocking Dirk Nowitski's sinus infection after a shootaround after Game 5 which Dirk played while running a 101.  Hey, assholes!  You lost!  Shut up.  But still, there are far worse citizens in the NBA than these 3.

Also, James and Bosh's decision to go to Miami was a business decision they were entirely free to make.  Indeed, depending on what kind of labor agreement the NBA Player's Association and the League can hammer out after the lockout-you do know there's gonna be a lockout right?-free agents will continue to essentially collude with each other to join teams that they believe gives them the best chance to win a title.  Somewhere Curt Flood is looking down and smiling.

And let's give the Mavericks some credit.  Dirk Nowitski had a series for the ages.  Jason Terry and Jason Kidd shot the Heat out in games 5 and 6.  Shawn Marion (who has to be carrying an AARP card by now)and Tyson Chandler held their own with Bosh.  They were quite literally the better team last night, scoring 27 points off of highly unsure Heat ball handling.  Note to Erik Spolestra:  who thought it was a good idea to have LeBron bring the ball up the middle on the fast break.?  I'm sure that it wasn't you.  And if so, I'm sure Pat Riley was not impressed.  Also, your team's free throw shooting was generally atrocious especially in light of the the Maverick's excellence at the line.  So that's two notes.

So while we don't need to make a morality play out of the victory of the Dallas Mavericks, there is some real satisfaction in seeing the Heat get taken down a peg.  And that tells you everything about what a PR disaster "The Decision" and the events afterwards really were.

Because basically OK guys instantly became the very embodiment of arrogance and hubris.  And the whole country-or at least the part that follows the NBA- pretty much rooted against them in the Finals.  Which is remarkable when you think about it. 

Oh.  And I told you so.

No comments: