Reaction to the Miami Heat's loss to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 6 of the 2011 NBA Finals could begin to be sensed as the fourth quarter unfolded in an all too familiar pattern...single digit scoring by LeBron James down the stretch of the final quarter with the entire season on the line and yet, in that moment was also the beauty of witnessing a veteran team find rhythm amidst an off night for their superstar.
Though poetry doesn't stand a chance against the tabloid, the player who stepped into a masterful supporting role was Jason Terry; the man who so believed in the destiny of this year's Dallas Mavericks that he had an image of the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy tattooed on his bicep. Win or look like a fool; and this time Terry was primed to seize option No. 1. His contribution to the victory by Dallas last night was significant and yet it was the last thing out of the mouths of so many NBA fans today.
Long-winded public debate in which people critique perceived negative qualities in superstars who "only think of themselves" or "are quitters" overshadows the celebration of incredibly talented, resilient, and disciplined individuals.
Maybe those beautiful qualities should only be celebrated in precious few individuals like Sully, those who truly do something heroic.
Why then, do we inflate so many negative qualities of a man like LeBron James when he falls short? Criticism of a poor work ethic should always be fair game, as should criticism of the childish behavior of Wade & James for their catty impersonation of Dirk Nowitzki sneezing as they strolled with a contrived confidence before blowing their entire season in the next game. But reveling in recounting all of the ways in with LeBron had it "coming to him" has been the past-time of flocks of ESPN parrots all season and at this point, the squawking is deafening.
Fair enough, LeBron has done much to add to his image of weak character that has continued to grow like a shadow over the past year, but with a beautiful performance put down by a calm, centered, well-coached team, it would be sweet to have the focus of the media taken from knocking an imperfect but still young and gifted athlete to give him a chance to grow into something better. Let the focus instead fall upon the fabled path taken by the 2011 Dallas Mavericks, perhaps inspiring us all to do our versions of the same.