If you're not into the sports posts that paragraph should give you all the information you need. Come back tomorrow for something entirely different,
As for the rest of you, would you agree that what started out with sloppy and unimpressive performances transformed itself into a beautiful example of well-played team ball? Dirk can't get the ball to drop? No worries, Jet's got him covered. The Mavericks' bench scored nearly as many points as did their starters; that is team ball.
Jose Barea claims to be 6' tall, but if that's true I want his measuring tape and I want it now. When asked why he was successful his disarming reply made short people everywhere stand up and cheer:
When I am dribbling I am close to the ground and those big guys they can't get at the ball.Rick Carlisle started him and they won 3 in a row. Watching LeBron flick him away, watching him bounce across the floor in an almost-but-not-quite acting foul and then get right up and play on made us smile.
LeBron wasn't smiling and everyone is wondering where he left his game. I go back to past posts I've written about how important the college experience is for these young men. I think that taking a tall and talented and highly touted 18 year old and throwing dollars and adoration at his feet, asking only that he resuscitate the fortunes of a dying city... if that's not a recipe for disaster then I don't know what is.
This is a grown man who bit his nails while sitting on the bench, with a cameraman at his feet recording it for posterity. My question was not "why doesn't he stop it?" so much as it was "why doesn't someone tell him to stop it?" I found it impossible to watch him play while I was eating.
Cleveland couldn't win so he picked up and unceremoniously left them in the lurch. He announced that there were but two options for his new team - championship or failure. When confronted with questions after the failure from reporters who wondered if he took responsibility for his lack of success he was defensive and resistant and blamed the questioners rather than himself.
I think that when you make a promise it's fair to be asked about keeping it. I think that people who look outside themselves (external locus of control..... one of the things I remember from Psych 101) run the risk of stunting their growth. If some else has unrealistic expectations, expectations you cannot meet, then the issue lies elsewhere. What bothers me (and most of the talking heads) is that improvement comes only from hard work, and hard work takes commitment and how can you cmmit to something for which you don't feel responsible?
Mark Cuban made a classy play, allowing the original and much loved first owner of the franchise receive the trophy from David Stern. That way the two younger men did not have to pretend that being in the same room with one another was distasteful. Commissioner Stern's mispronunciation of the MVP's last name is right up there with Robert Goulet forgetting the words to the national anthem - utterly preventable and laughably unprepared. David Gilbert, the Cleveland Cavaliers' owner, needs to get over himself and stop stomping on LeBron.
That said, I do like the sign in a bar in Cleveland, calling the new NBA Champs the Mav-eliers.
Revenge is sweet.