Let me preface this by saying that I’m rooting for Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks BUT the Miami Heat and King James have the Mavs right where they want them. As a Knicks fan I can attest to the perilous plight of the Mavs as they face their adversaries (the Heat) up three games to two heading back to Miami for a two game home stand. The Knicks were in the same situation as the Mavs in the 1993-94 NBA Finals against the Rockets. We all know how that ended. The Celtics can attest to the same fate in last year’s NBA Finals after going up three games to two, only to lose the last two games against the Lakers in Los Angeles. Without a doubt as the Mavs head to Miami they’ll find themselves in the most precarious situation in NBA Finals history. Few teams have evaded the 1993-94 Knicks’ or the 2009-10 Celtic’s fate, which makes the inevitability of the first Heat championship in their imminent Dynasty so much more likely.
The inevitability of the Heat’s Dynasty is sort of a turn off if your a fan of competitive basketball. Thinking about the Finals, I recall a preview by ESPN that covered the Heat’s arrival on the NBA Finals. The preview cast critics of the Miami Heat as a dismissive lot all to ready to jump on the Heat’s regular season struggles as proof that the team’s collection of talent (especially Lebron) were overrated frontrunners. The preview emphasized the polarizing presence of the Miami heat on the NBA regular season and playoff stage, while the NBA.com home page spoke of how the Mav’s were just a final litmus test to the Heat’s greatness. The inevitability of a marketably polarizing Heat dynasty on the horizon emanated from both ESPN’s and the NBA’s coverage of the Finals. Besides doesn’t NBA also stand for Nothing but Advertisers? And who would you rather have advertise your product and all them neat Nike and other kicks (made on cheap third world labor) than the suave dapper and glamorous trio in Miami? Surely not Dirk? A Napoleon Dynamite look alike in his youth who listens to David Hasselhoff. Right?
Reflecting on why I disliked the Heat, it hit me that there were and are also plenty of things to admire about the Miami Heat in terms of what’s the best of this country. Nonetheless what the Heat are, what they’re composed of what they represent overall that is the worst of Americana also instantly came to mind as well. At the end of my reflection on what makes the Heat so polarizing and reviled at times, bloomed my conclusion that the Heat are really this centuries version of “America’s Team” in all the sense which that phrase can capture.
Let’s give credit where credit’s due, . . . what Lebron Jame’s (through his management team) did with the coalition of his Star Baller friends, James Wade and Chris Bosh, was simply brilliant! Three young men found a loophole in the nether regions between the impending Collective Bargaining Agreement ending and the 2010 summer of free agency, which NBA Management only caught on to after the fact. These three men found an opening and took it. No questions asked. No Hesitation. Such stories are as much a part of the fabric of America’s forward and conceptual expansion as anything else out there. Moreover, the relocation of James and Bosh parallels the brain and talent drain of America’s best and brightest (Bosh won legal battles to prevent others from using his name in domain names, CAA is Lebron’s brain child) from the backwaters of this nation and hemisphere to the opportunities mostly found only in the glitzier more rewarding metropoles of the U.S. or any other major nation. The result being the latest conglomeration of irresistible talent that will no doubt win multiple championships. Like the inventors of Facebook, Napster, Southpark and other successful soon to be multimillion dollar creations, the visionary brilliance of the big three cannot be denied.
On the other hand there’s the ugly other face of America and the Miami Heat, that which screams of the arrogance of unlimited unfettered power. The sort of power that can do whatever it wants whenever it wants can gloat and stomp around like a colossus and never has to apologize for it. Like the way in which Lebron left Cleaveland, Lebron’s trash talking to the Cavs and doing his powder routine in the face of heartbroken Cleavland fans. The Dwayne Wade rubbed salt into the wound of Dirk Nowitzki’s failed finals appearance against the Miami Heat a few years back. Wade ad Lebron’s jab at Nowiztki’s illness in this NBA Finals. How Lebron arrogantly proclaimed to those in attendance in Miami after the Super Heat were forged that Miami would win not one, not two, not three not four, etc., etc., . . . ad nauseum. Forget about paying dues only suckers pay dues, just like everyday folks pay taxes. Corporation’s and the truly successful and visionary can afford to get around paying dues or taxes. That’s essentially what Lebron, Wade and Bosh have done.
Speaking of not paying taxes, aint that the lovely wrinkle in Miami that gives it and other such NBA regions like it a decided advantage over places like New York. Maybe Stern should tier the cap to the percentage of state income tax? Wouldn’t that be fairer?
But I digress, the young uber talented, uber marketable Heat are apparently up against the wall against the older veteran Mavericks with their leaders Jason Kidd, Jason Terry and Dirk Nowiztki heading the charge. But as I said NBA title aren’t a life time achievement award. Paying dues didn’t get Reggie Miller late in his a career a championship against the young Mega Talented Shaq/Kobe Lakers. It didn’t get the aging Celtics who were brought together near the nadir of their careers more rings than that sole championship they won in the summer of 2007-2008 season. It surely won’t change the still overwhelming odds the Mavs face against the Heat as they go on the road to do what way few teams have done in the NBA Finals win on the Road against a Heat team with three of the best players on the court. In winning game three the Heat set the series up for their triumphant return home were it is highly unlikely that one if not two or all three of the Heat’s superstars have huge games at home with their crowds support and aren’t we all waiting for the Mavs to choke like they always do? The clock may have just struck twelve on the Golden Locks of Dirk Nowiztki’s Cinderella season. Besides theirs no way Dirk Sells Nike’s quite as well as the Miami Three or that the best European Player beats three of America’s best players.