Game 6 of the NBA Finals will continue to dominate the talk around the sports world today. From LeBron James’ failure to Dirk Nowitzki’s redemption … but mostly LeBron.
There will be plenty more to come, but here’s a sampling of what people said overnight.
Photo: Miami Herald
James will win championships, but he’ll never enjoy a moment so singularly pure as Nowitzki did. He’ll never have this connection to a franchise and a fandom, a communion of shared struggle and pursuit and angst. This is still Dwyane Wade’s(notes) town, and probably Wade’s team. One Eastern Conference star said, “Right now all he’s doing is helping D-Wade get his second ring.”
But the Mavericks aren’t the Heat when it comes to pressure. No one on the Mavericks is LeBron James. And on Sunday, LeBron James wasn’t LeBron James. He hadn’t been LeBron James since this series started.
There’s no way to dance around it this time. There’s no way to ignore six consecutive games of this. No way to excuse another passive performance (12 points after a red-hot nine-point start that included a pair of long jumpers).
The Dallas Mavericks are the 2011 NBA champions because their team is a real team, and because their superstar is a real superstar. And if I have to connect the dots for you, fine: The Heat have neither. Neither a real team, nor a real superstar. Not on this night. Not in this whole series.
The idea of team won out. And in case you missed it — in case you were understandably too busy ogling and then processing the end of any claim to royalty the King once possessed — there were plenty of folks ready to remind you.
Everywhere else, they’re talking about James’ reality show in which he turned into the emperor with no clothes.
Some of it was media-created, still more of it media-driven, but in the end, it didn’t matter from what direction it came. The two stars and friends were left standing in hopeless astonishment after being outplayed, outsmarted, and outclassed by something they both decided they would leave behind when they joined forces: a team in the traditional sense, one not outshined by the brilliance of modern basketball stardom nor dragged down by its flaws.
It’s not just how LeBron left but how he operated when he was still [in Cleveland]. He talked such a big game. He promised to end the title drought. He gave them all those endless playoff runs, all those spring nights of entertainment. He was good to them. Then he wasn’t, bailing before the proper Hollywood ending.
“Congrats to Mark C.&entire Mavs org. Mavs NEVER stopped & now entire franchise gets rings. Old Lesson for all:There are NO SHORTCUTS. NONE.”
Dallas Mavericks take their talents to South Beach, leave with NBA championship, 105-95, over Miami
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