An NBA Championship from the eyes of a fan

Last Sunday night I was able to experience something that I never thought I would see in my life time, and that was the Dallas Mavericks winning an NBA championship. I saw how close it came in 2006 when it was snatched from us by the Miami Heat. But ever since then, it has been a series of  first round exits and playoff catastrophes. Until this year, after what looked like the same old song and dance when the Portland series started, turned into something amazing and special during the Lakers series. It has been a full week since that final buzzer sounded in Miami, but the feeling today is just as fresh as it was last week.

In my post game article, I summed it up in one word…Champions, but as the week went on and I really thought about it, it became more fitting. For 31 years this team has gone from the “new kid in town” to an NBA laughing stock, to a consistent 50 win team to now being a champion. For someone like myself who can remember seasons when this team won all of 12 games, and were the butt of every joke. This is such a special feeling that some words can not describe. As a kid in elementary school people would call me crazy for wearing a Mavs shirt or even admitting to being a fan of such a bad team. But they were my hometown team, they were in my city and I cheered and loved them just the same. Now that feeling of elation and joy overwhelms me to the point I have to pinch myself to make sure that I am not dreaming.

There was never anything really special that made this season seem like anything would happen, even the start of the playoffs went about as expected. But then there was the game 4 collapse in Portland and that feeling of not again started to set in. But they were able to over come that and win the series, then came the sweep of the Lakers and all of a sudden I started to think it was going to be a special run in the playoffs. Little did we know that the run would complete itself on a stage in Miami with the trophy being given to former owner Don Carter.

The fact that the Mavericks won the title was awesome enough, but it really hit home when Don Carter was on stage and was the first person to hoist the trophy. As a long time Mavs fan, this was a great sight, and a very awesome gesture from Mark Cuban. Even though most local fans would say that he has been one of the better owners in the area, that gesture alone would catapult him to the top of the list. So, once the game ended, there was no way to know how to act or feel because nobody would have expected this to happen to this team, but it is a reality and now the fans will spend the summer basking in the glow of a championship.

 

Mavericks give Thunder an Oklahoma Breakdown

Last night if you stayed awake to see the end of the Mavericks and Thunder, you were treated to what will go down as one of the more epic late game melt downs in playoff history. The Thunder were up by 15 with as little as 5 minutes to go, then Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks found something within themselves to make one big push. The Mavs found themselves tied with about 13 seconds to go and needing one big defensive stop. At that point you could hear the energy rush out of the crowd, and everyone knew that the Mavericks would end up winning in overtime.

This could be a devastation loss for a very young Oklahoma City team, this was a game where they had the Mavericks on the mat, and all they had to do was just finish them off and they couldn’t complete the task. Going into game 5 the Thunder will probably throw everything at the Mavs, including the kitchen sink and the stray cat from outside, but the key will be for the Mavericks to withstand that one big push and be able to break their will in the next game and get some rest before the finals. Even if the Thunder are able to find a way to rebound and win game 5, they won’t be able to recover to win the series, all the Mavericks have to do is just find a way to win one of the next three games to end the series.

The Thunder is a young team that wasn’t even expected to be this far into the playoffs, this will be a tough learning lesson, but they will be back. The Mavericks on the other hand are a savy veteran team that is nearing the end of it’s window to win and they are taking full advantage of any luck that falls their way. Some are even saying today that the Mavericks may be the team of destiny this year. We will find out soon enough if they keep this up.

Red River Rivalry; NBA Style

The NBA is going to get a taste of the Red River Rivalry when the Oklahoma city Thunder meet up with the Dallas Mavericks. There has been an ongoing rivalry between Oklahoma and Texas for over 100 years in college sports, but now the rivalry will move into the NBA. This time when the teams meet, there will be a whole lot on the line, this is the winner take all scenario that every team dreams for at the beginning of the season.

But the question has to be where do loyalties lie? If you live in Dallas, attended Oklahoma, and moved back to Texas for work, where does your allegiance lie? This will ultimately tear a couple people up, especially if they had grown up a Mavs fan, but then became a Thunder fan when the team arrived in Oklahoma City. Which ever side of the fence you decide to fall in this series, there is one thing that is certain, it will be an entertaining series with two very fun superstars to watch.

The fact that both the big superstars are still fairly young, this should breed into a very exciting rivalry for years to come. But right now there is one goal on the minds of both teams and that is to win the Western Conference. The Mavericks are coming off a week long rest, and the Thunder just had to dispatch the Memphis Grizzlies in game 7. You would almost have to feel that the Mavs would be the favorites to win, since they won’t have all the fatigue and soreness from a physical series.

I predict that the Mavericks will take the series in 5 games, but depending on matchups throughout the series, this could easaily be a 7 game series.

Sports Brain Seepage; Vol. 1

Every now and then there are too many things going in sports for me to be able to dedicate a full post to it, so I will roll all these type stories into a new feature called the Sports Brain seepage. I hope you enjoy as these may become fairly regular.

NFL Lockout:
We are now into day 55 of the NFL lockout, and we are still waiting for the appeals court to make a decision on whether or not the previous judges decision will be upheld. But the NFL owners are whining that undoing the lock out will be unfair and destroy the league. As this whole ordeal has gone on, I have kind of been backing the players, because they just want the owners to open the books, and all the owners do is deflect the question. If there is a way for the owners to lose money when the slice out one billion before the players get their share, then they need to show proof to everyone. This lockout could be settled real quick if the owners would just open the books. Sure, there are more issues at hand, but every player who has spoken has said this is the #1 issue. Either way both sides need a swift kick in the nuts and need to get this settled, because if any games are missed, then the NFL will suffer the same problem that baseball took a full decade to recover from. And that is struggling attendance and lack of interest.

 Death of a Former NBA Player:
News broke earlier today that for NBA player Robert “Tractor” Traylor was found dead in his apartment in Puerto Rico. Traylor spend 7 years in the NBA and had played for Cleveland,New Orleans and Charlotte. While he wasn’t a superstar player, he had his moments on the court. It is always tragic to hear about a young mans death in any situation, Robert Traylor was 34 years old and he was suspected to have had a heart attack. He leaves behind a wife and two sons.

NBA Playoff thoughts:
The Boston Celtics are on the ropes and have to win tonight to be able to force game 5 back in Boston. But with the health of Rondo being questionable, they will be in a tough situation. This is probably not going to go well for the Celtics tonight, but I am sure they will put up a better fight than the Lakers did in their elimination game.

Memphis and Oklahoma City is becoming one of the more entertaining series in the playoffs. This one has the potential to go the full 7, and that is a great thing for the NBA, and also a very good thing for the resting Mavericks who are sitting at home waiting.

Chicago has a chance to end their series with the Hawks tomorrow night in Atlanta, but the Hawks should come out inspired and play with the same wreck less abandon they have showed throughout the series. I don’t doubt that Chicago will win the series, but I would like to see this one go the full 7 if possible, just because of how entertaining it has been. But then again, if the Bulls finish it off tomorrow, then we won’t have to see those disgustingly annoying road uniforms with “ATL” plastered on the front of the Hawks jerseys. either way, this is a good series and the fans deserve a full 7.

College Football:
Today the news came down that the BCS is going to allow the Fiesta Bowl to stay in the BCS, but they are going to fine them $1 million for their indiscretions. This seems like a slap in the face to college football fans across the country, because they were so blatant in the disregard and scandals that they should have been ousted. But then again I am sure the BCS didn’t want to allow the Cotton Bowl in because they knew that the game being at Cowboys stadium would be a better attraction of every BCS bowl except for the Rose Bowl.

[box]Kody’s Sports Korner is on Twitter: @kodysportskornr[/box]