More Loose Thoughts on the NBA Finals

I’m very happy for the Dallas Mavericks.  As a fan of most teams based in Chicago, I find it very easily to project hope onto any team that has struggled to win the big one.  Such teams make excellent surrogate Cubs.  On the other hand, the team that these Mavericks most reminded me was of their NFL city-mates, the Dallas Cowboys.  In the late 60s the Cowboys were the team that always lost to either the Bart Starr/Vince Lombardi Packers or the Paul Warfield/Leroy Kelly Browns.  Then in 1970 season, they lost the Super Bowl after a late game interception by the Colts.  By the time they finally won the big one after the 1971 season, it kind of surprised everyone.  The Cowboys were clearly a title contender but everyone had become accustomed to them losing before hoisting the big trophy.  The Mavericks fit that profile to a T this year.  Remember the smart money was on Portland to beat them in the first round.

We’re busy comparing LeBron James to the wrong NBA legend.  While his multi-talents suggest that he’s the new Michael Jordan, his playoff record and the intense scrutiny of his performances and their inability to meet expectations suggest he’s the new Wilt Chamberlain.  He’s a Goliath at the small forward position.

Dirk’s title should be a sweet cure for the Mavericks disappointing loss in the ’06 Finals, but it shouldn’t be a validation of his greatness.  The playoffs are at most 28 games; regular seasons are 82. What happens in 28 shouldn’t offset what happens in one third the space.  Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Steve Nash, John Stockton, among others are all time greats and their lack of a title ring doesn’t significantly diminish their accomplishments.


About jmartin437

I've worked in and around the world of high end cheese for 27 years. I've been everything from a department manager who hired and fired and trained staffs to a weekend warrior who shows up ties on an apron the middle of a rush and talks to customers and cleans up the place. I enjoy it all, and I especially like my current situation conducting informal seminars about cheese at area bars and in class at the 92nd St. Y. The current schedule is always up at In addition I conduct private events that are perfect to lead off birthday parties for foodies and sommeliers and also they make great entertainment for corporate team building events and associates meetings at law firms. In addition, I've been a freelance journalist for 27 years. Currently my profiles of leading musicians and filmmakers appear in the Wall Street Journal and I also wrote about sports for the Root, and for five loooong years, which included the entirety of the Isiah Thomas Knicks era, I wrote about the NBA for the New York Sun. I enjoyed writing about basketball so much that I now do it here at rotations for free.
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One Response to More Loose Thoughts on the NBA Finals

  1. Gary Hill says:

    Like the comparison LeBron to Wilt.
    The comparisons everyone is making for Dirk are also fun. Off the top of my head, I’m thinking Bob McAdoo (tho he never won until he was a sixth man on a star-studded team), Rick Barry, maybe Elvin Hayes (tho he had a lot more beef alongside him). Hmm, don’t wanna say he’s a Hakeem (my favorite player) but… Actually what I’m running into is that all these guys I’m considering, singular scorers surrounded by good but not all-time great players who coalesced into teams greater than the sum of their parts, had probably better teammates than Dirk. Whaddya think?

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