I have this theory.
I didn't actually do any research to see if it's true or bother putting it into Google to see if anybody else has had this theory before, but nonetheless, it's a theory.
Failure can be a great motivator (not the theory). Without failure, success is only mildly sweet. The number of inspirational quotations written on getting back up after you fall are enough to fill an entire Britannica set (if you were born with a smart phone in your hand, Britannica is a real set of encyclopedias...kind of like Wikipedia in print, except written by...you know...real scholars).
However, despite all of that "RA! RA!," bulletin board, story book cr@p of getting back up, failure will eventually tear you down—at least for a while. And recovery takes time. You question yourself before you can recover and those are the darkest days.
So when one of the most dangerous teams in recent memory looks primed for a championship; when one of the best players in recent history has been beaten down for his championship failures; when a team comes together, full of young-in-their-prime stars and might possibly win a championship in its first year of creation...
What do you do?
You hope they never get a taste.
There's blood in the water and the Miami Heat can smell it, but you hope they never get a taste.
Kobe Bryant should be cheering for Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks to win the 2010-2011 championship. Forget the sweep; forget the broom which felt like it was made of barb wiring that they rolled over the Lakers and their fans.
[Side note: I'm still attending "free cake and grief counseling" sessions offered at the Staples Center. The hypothetical scenario debate, where Laker fans believed we would...take Game 4, handle business at home, come back for a tough, tough Game 6 and then blow them out in Game 7 because they would be rattled...takes place right after. Is it unprofessional to put an emoticon in a sports column?
You're not a professional.
Can you tell I'm still bitter?]
But forget all that. They need the Mavs to win this ring. A veteran team, which is already ousted, should always want another veteran team to win. Like Bill Simmons said, it's like a private club where you don't want anyone and everyone to get in, but once they do, it's like, "Hey, welcome to the party!"
And while the Mavs have never won a championship, believe you me, Kobe Bryant would rather see 32-year old Dirk Nowitzki and 38-year old Jason Kidd win a ring, rather than the two young lions and a Velociraptor (come on...he does look like a friggin' Velociraptor). That is because he doesn't want them at the party until after he's gone.
Failure, especially for Lebron James, would tear him down a bit more. It would make him question himself a bit more. It would tweak his confidence, just a bit more. It would bring all the criticism back up that he couldn't get it done—again.
Don't get me wrong. The Miami Heat will win a championship sooner or later—multiple, actually. Their opportunity to do so will run for the next decade. But Kobe Bryant's window for more rings is closing. He's anguished in the losses and relished in the victories; you can't deal with defeat after that.
The taste of your own sweat tastes different in victory than it does in defeat, and so Kobe better cheer for Dirk and Kidd. "Let them relish in victory, just this once," he should say. "Don't let the others get a taste, because they'll want it forever. You can try it just for now Mavs. I'll see you next June, but you can try it just for now."
See you next June. What did you think I've been trying to say this whole time?