NBA Finals 2011: Negativity Taking Away from Dallas Mavericks Victory

Jeff ShullAnalyst IJune 13, 2011

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 12:  (L-R) Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki #41 and Jason Kidd #2 of the Dallas Mavericks celebrate with the Larry O'Brien trophy after the Mavericks won 105-95 against the Miami Heat in Game Six of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena on June 12, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

I felt compelled to write this because I've been bothered by everything going on right now, especially in the Twitter world.

First off, let me say this: Congratulations to Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Shawn Marion and the rest of the Mavericks for winning the title. You were the better team, and I won money on you because I believed you were the better team and would prove it.

I can't think of a better group of players who deserved a championship more; Dirk and Kidd are two of the hardest-working guys in the league.

Why do I feel like I'm the only one celebrating these players? Because the hatred surrounding LeBron James and his "Decision" has taken away from what Dirk and his teammates accomplished.

The Heat were the villains of the 2010-2011 NBA season and everyone was waiting for them to fail.

Since when has it become the norm to celebrate failure before success?

Nowitzki has etched his name in NBA history as one of the greatest power forwards to ever play the game, but you wouldn't know it because everything the past 18 or so hours has been about how LeBron and the Heat choked.

You could definitely make the case that the Heat should have swept the Mavs. They had big leads in both Games 2 and 4 and gave the game away late in the fourth quarter.

But that's more about the Mavs' resolve this season than the Heat not being able to close. The Mavs did it time and time again this year and even did it twice against the Thunder in the Western Conference finals.

They had what it takes to win a championship, and the Heat did not. Not yet.

The Mavs had been there before. They lived through the horrible feeling of losing in the Finals and made it their mission not to fail again.

This Heat team had to go through this first.

Even though Dwyane Wade has won a title and LeBron has been to the Finals, collectively this team had little playoff experience. This was the first time Chris Bosh had been outside the first round of the playoffs.

So while everyone hates LeBron and keeps bringing up how he will never be Michael Jordan, the Heat still have a lot of time left to win titles.

[Speaking of that, why does everyone keep saying, "LeBron will never be Jordan?" Don't we already know that? If you stop saying it, people will stop comparing him to Jordan; just mentioning he won't be Jordan feeds into the discussion.]

Honestly, I thought LeBron had turned the corner. I thought during the Boston and Chicago series he became the closer the Heat needed him to be.

But something changed when they got to the Finals. He disappeared in the fourth quarter in every game this series, and for most of the series in general.

It turned out to be 2007 all over again. When LeBron dominated the Pistons singlehandedly, everyone was in awe of how much he could take over a game in crunch time. He carried his team to the Finals by himself like not many had before.

Then the Finals happened. He disappeared and was swallowed by the moment, and the Spurs won in four games.

While the Mavs did not crush the Heat like the Spurs did the Cavs, LeBron once again was swallowed, leaving everyone wondering how he could fall from grace so fast.

It also left the "twitterverse" to have a feeding frenzy on LeBron last night, pointing out every flaw in his game, how he can't handle the moment and how he will never be Jordan.

It should never have been about that. The Mavs made an incredible run through the Western Conference (which, by the way, flexed its muscle in the playoffs yet again) and the Finals, winning 12 of their final 15 games.

Everyone's popular pick to get upset by the Portland Trail Blazers ended up shocking the world and won one of the most exciting series of all time; three straight games came down to the final possession.

But unless you're a Mavs fan, you won't remember this year as the year the Mavs won it all. You'll remember it as when LeBron choked in the Finals yet again.

You'll point to it to show people how LeBron will never be Jordan. You'll focus on the negative. Even if LeBron goes on to win four or five championships, you'll remember his second choke job.

If you choose to run down the Heat for their failure, fine, but don't forget what the Dallas Mavericks accomplished.

Congrats to all Mavs fans out there; you've waited a long time for this one.