Note to LeBron James and his Miami Heat:
Championships aren’t won by talent or teaming up with talent. Making unrealistic predictions isn’t a blueprint for winning titles. Championship-like celebrations with fans should only be conducted when your team actually wins the NBA title. Taunting your opponent will eventually catch up to you in the end….and the decisions you make often have consequences that you may end up regretting.
These are just a few lessons learned from how your Heat got punk’d by the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals.
King James, your Heat were the better team on paper and still lost. The Heat hands down have better athletes than the Dallas Mavericks. In fact, the Mavericks’ roster was somewhat depleted with the absence of injured small forward Caron Butler, who averages 15 points per contest. Butler’s scoring and defensive presence would have been an asset for the Mavs. Dallas was also thin at the center position, as backup center Brendan Haywood was slowed down by a hip injury.
The entire basketball world watched game two, when you prematurely celebrated in front of the Mavericks bench, punching Dwayne Wade’s chest after he extended the Heat lead to 15 points with 7:13 left in the 4th quarter. We all saw the uncomfortable look on Wade’s face as he walked to the Heat’s bench. Viewers saw Jason Terry’s reaction informing you that the game isn’t over. How did that work for you and the Heat, LeBron? For those who didn’t “Witness” the final seven minutes of the game, Dallas put the Heat in their place with a 22-5 run and stole game two.
Side note: LeBron scored 2 points in that celebratory 4th quarter, all from the free throw line.
Although the Heat would squeak out a win in-game three to take a 2-1 lead, game two proved to be the series changer for the Dallas Mavericks as they would go on to win three in a row to claim their first NBA title in franchise history.
The Mavs were supposed to be a stepping stone towards multiple titles in Miami. Remember your chant to Heat fans last summer…”Not 1, Not 2, Not 3, Not 4, Not 5, Not 6, Not 7″. Well you were right, you don’t have any of those. Not even one, thanks to your inability to show up in the 4th quarter when your team needed you the most. That was the demise of the Heat all in a nut shell.
LeBron was correct that his haters are enjoying the fact that he failed. But how many more haters has King James acquired with his post game comments….suggesting that they will have the same problems/ life as before. You spent an exorbitant amount of time talking about your haters instead of your game or lack thereof in the clutch, or congratulating the team that beat you.
But what did you really expect was going to happen after the Mavs knocked your Heat out of the Finals? You thought that your critics was going to show you any mercy? You went from the beloved back-to-back MVP recipient to one of, if not the most hated player in the NBA. And most of it was self inflected. The way you handled the Cleveland situation was a disaster. You held the NBA world hostage for an hour to speak for a few minutes. Now when you had the opportunity to go out graciously, you make a fool out of yourself during your press conference.
LeBron, you are a tremendously talented player who still has enough time to write your ship. If you don’t, you’ll be asking yourself, was “The Decision” in 2010 really worth it? So far it’s only showing that you don’t have what it takes to win it all.
By Keith Madyun