The Dallas Mavericks won their first championship last night in Miami with a 105-95 victory in Game 6. There were plenty of heroes for Dallas that answered the prayers of millions of fans around the country. Dirk Nowitzki won the Finals MVP and scored 10 in the 4th quarter after a 1-12 1st half and Jason Terry came up clutch with 27 points off the bench. JJ Barea was huge once again and Deshawn Stevenson of all people made big threes in the 1st half. Vets like Kidd, Marion, Stojakovic, and Chandler won their first ring as well. Heck, even Mark Cuban finally made an appearance and came up with a classy gesture of having David Stern hand the trophy to original Mavs owner Don Carter.
Of course, since the Mavs beat the Heat though, the failure of one LeBron James is the story to come out of the 2011 NBA Finals. Unfortunately, the story of the Mavs and their great run through the Playoffs from the #4 seed and Dirk’s 13 year quest for a title will largely be overshadowed because of one fact. The NBA Finals came and went and the King is still without a ring. LeBron James went missing for large portions of the game once again last night and will likely face even more criticism, laughter, and venom from fans not just in Cleveland, but around the country. I’ve never seen schadenfreude referenced more in a 14 hour period.
So, when LeBron went to his postgame presser with bff Dwyane Wade, someone was bound to ask about the sheer glee that his haters experienced with his failing in the Finals. Perhaps all the hate finally got to LeBron as he had this not so measured response…
The more I listen to that quote, the more cringe worthy it is. I understand James’ point of view… yes, it’s fun to root against LeBron and the Heat for most of us (save a thought for a true Heat fan though, our own Mike Vitiello, don’t turn it on ESPN today), but we do all have real lives to live. However, referencing your great life and the personal problems of real people are not going to endear King James to the masses once again. The more you listen to this soundbyte, the more disconnected and arrogant James sounds. LeBron even lost his personal beat reporter, Brian Windhorst of ESPN’s Heat Index, who didn’t hold back the harsh words:
And there’s the rub. So, too, will James. Eight years in, James is walking away from another season with no ring. In the past he could — and did — with his head high while quietly blame others. Last year, he got away with a series in which he failed to deliver.
Now, in the real world, there’s nowhere to hide.
If anything, LeBron is more cemented in the villain role than ever. So with that, some of those real people had to welcome James back to the real world today. Here’s a mini Real Tweets from Real People with some of their tweets @KingJames…
cavsdan Congrats to Mark C.&entire Mavs org. Mavs NEVER stopped & now entire franchise gets rings. Old Lesson for all:There are NO SHORTCUTS. NONE.