The Mavericks Finally Fought Back, and They Have the Title to Prove It

Mark Cuban, Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs shed labels and the Miami Heat on the way to their first NBA championship.

The Mavericks Finally Fought Back, and They Have the Title to Prove It
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So when exactly did you give up on these Mavericks?

There are those at Thursday's championship parade through downtown Dallas who might have claimed, above the cheering and through the confetti, to have believed all along. But this is a safe space. Let's lay it out there: Unless you're named Cuban or Chandler or Carlisle or Charles, or you're a floppy-haired German who has perfected the Flamingo Fadeaway for even the most stressful of situations, there was a moment—or, more likely, multiple moments—when you lost faith that this team, along with the 30 versions before it, could win an NBA championship, and grant you the right to blow off work and toast that title.

More than the franchise's history of misery, perhaps it was the present-day reality that seemed destined to ruin 2011. Star Dirk Nowitzki was back, but not visibly different or better than the great player who never seemed good enough. Jason Kidd, at 38, was being counted on as the prime distributor. Head coach Rick Carlisle was still in charge and still defending himself for misusing Roddy Beaubois in last year's first-round playoff loss to the San Antonio Spurs. Caron Butler, penciled in as Nowitzki's long-coveted sidekick, went down early, and Beaubois, the projected sparkplug, never fired up. Plan B replacements Peja Stojakovic and Corey Brewer flamed out, and backup center Brendan Haywood was injured early in the Finals against the favored Miami Heat, forcing into action seldom-used afterthoughts Brian Cardinal and Ian Mahinmi—players who, until they started flying across flat-screens, many casual fans had no clue were even on the roster.

"Hollywood couldn't write a more remarkable script," Mavericks long-time general manager Donnie Nelson said Monday, not long after landing in Dallas in a plane weighed down by two ample pieces of hardware."Given those facts, heck, I don't think I would've believed in us. For all those things to have happened and for us to have finally won this thing...it's crazy."

Karma is, indeed, a bitch. Fortunately, she's also a basketball fan. How else can you explain the Mavericks simultaneously erasing 31 years of frustration and exorcising those infamous 2006 demons by punctuating an unlikely playoff run with a titanic, terrific upset of the infinitely more rich, famous and talented Heat, and doing it on the exact spot where they commenced their most humiliating collapse five years ago?

"It's not always easy, but you can't worry about the big picture and legacies and things like that," Nowitzki said after Sunday night's Game 6 win, carefully cradling his NBA Finals Most Valuable Player trophy like a precious newborn. "You just have to stay in the moment. You have to believe."

When the Mavs paraded through the streets Thursday morning, they did it as the most unlikely champions in the history of Dallas-Fort Worth professional sports. Sure, they authored their 11th consecutive 50-plus-win, playoff-qualifying season. But they were seeded third in the Western Conference playoffs behind the champion-pedigree Spurs and the two-time defending title-holding Los Angeles Lakers. Of the Cowboys' five Super Bowls and the Stars' lone Stanley Cup in 1999, none were sprung on fans quite like this triumph. The 1971 Cowboys were coming off a Super Bowl loss the previous year, and the 1977 team went 12-2 in the regular season. The 1992 team went 13-3 and won its division, and the '93 and '95 squads were two of the most talented in NFL history. The 1999 Stars easily won the NHL's President's Cup as the best regular-season team.

The Mavs? Two months ago they began the playoffs with a same ol', same ol' yawn and a shrug of indifference. Six of ESPN.com's 12 NBA experts picked Dallas to be upset by the Portland Trailblazers in the first round. Denver Nuggets coach George Karl openly lamented that his team didn't land what he thought would be a favorable matchup against Dallas. And the Lakers' Matt Barnes dismissed the Mavs as a disarmed team for which a blueprint had already been unveiled. While TNT analyst Charles Barkley trumpeted the Mavs' long-shot chances, KTCK-AM 1310 "The Ticket" midday host Bob Sturm predicted a Blazers win, Mavs flagship radio station KESN-FM 103.3 morning host Ben Rogers labeled the Mavs the "One and Done Boys," and a certain columnist at the Dallas Observer penned that they were the same physically soft, psychologically fragile "Mav-wrecks" that had disappointed us again and again, guaranteeing a second-round elimination at the hands of the Lakers.

It was around then that I emailed owner Mark Cuban, asking for an interview. As one usually does, a reply landed in my inbox not long after. As they usually are, it was short.

"You've already written your end to our season," he wrote at the dawn of his playoffs media silence (see page 17). "But we've got something else in mind."

Maybe you never believed in the Mavericks, a franchise boldly founded deep in the heart of football country by Don Carter in 1980. Back then the Mavericks were good, but the Lakers of Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar were legendary. Maybe you lost faith somewhere in the change of logos, the relocation from Reunion Arena to American Airlines Center, the ownership transfers from Carter to Ross Perot Jr. to Cuban, or the coaching switches from Dick Motta to John MacLeod to Richie Adubato to Quinn Buckner to Motta again to Jim Cleamons to Don Nelson to Avery Johnson to Carlisle. Perhaps you threw your hands up during the back-to-back seasons of 11 and 13 wins in 1993 and 94. Or the 1990s draft picks of Cherokee Parks and Samaki Walker and Chris Anstey, or the trading away of Kidd, or the re-acquisition of Kidd for Devin Harris in 2008.

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19 comments
Jim Spanarkel
Jim Spanarkel

I will use this comment forum for spewing my venom and directing hatred. That way, I feel better about myself.

Grayparatrooper
Grayparatrooper

Peja wasnt a flop he was a actually a key scorer in the playoffs. The heat was just a bad matchup and brewer started teh spark that fueld the comeback in game 1 vs lakers.

zovannee1
zovannee1

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Mhines3247
Mhines3247

You gave up several times. In April for sure. Simply click on this douche bags name at the top and you can see his earlier articles. You have no faith, and are a terrible sports writer. Not all fans give up, some get mad and may cuss the team, the coaches, the owner and admin types, but few fans actually give up on their teams. You should give up your writing and maybe write something about how wrong you were on more than one occasion.

Shieldda
Shieldda

I don't know if this article was meant to be inspiring by painting this season's accomplishments in a negative light, or If this is a secret lebron fanboy looking for a way to justify his performance, but I constantly believed they could do it. Their poise and unselfishness was unmatched. Most importantly, you could tell they believed they would do it. The whole time. And that's the reason they did.

pguo10
pguo10

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Aarroonn Fleszar
Aarroonn Fleszar

DID CUBAN PROVE ANY OF THIS?

THE NEW WORLD ORDER PLAYBOOK EXPOSED

Scam artists (Al-Qaeda) have cornered the market on affiliate marketing education. Their sites use aliases, bogus whois info, and registrations in different states and countries. What are they hiding?

Many get rich quick scams serve as product placement for new cutting edge internet technologies, and logos, some sold through Clickbank. The people appearing in testimonials are part of the expansion of this organization and are often pitching other high priced products and services. They all link to one another through their marketing strategies and ability to optimize in search rankings.

Between the aliases the use, and the way in which they speak about things, everything they do has double meaning. Their faces in Google image search is similar to the picture book of symbols mentioned in The Da Vinci Code movie. Here is a code of look a likes pitching all sorts of stuff who are interconnected;

Selling a program on making millions online is Professor James Bradley who looks like the Pentagon bomber Bill Ayers.

Jay Conrad Levinson is behind a number of “guerilla” marketing and advertising books. He looks like George Soros, who’s last name is a (palin)drome. Soros has been credited for collapsing a number of nation’s currencies. George Soros has been quoted several times regarding his views on a New World Order.

The Super Affiliate Handbook is sold by someone who looks like Jill Biden, her name is Rosalind Gardner. Some appear to represent people, more in how they pose, rather then a direct look alike. Stephen Pierce appears to represent radical Van Jones, Brett McFall-Austan Goolsbee, John Childers-Andy Stern, and Jay Abraham as Ayman al-Zawahri, just to name a few.

Problem with your Google Adwords PPC ads and can’t get a straight answer? You could try Yanik Silver who looks a lot like Sergei Brin, but he probably won’t know. He sells 33 Days to Online Profits (prophets.) Why not try Perry Marshall, who looks like Obama’s priest Reverend Pfleger? He sells The Definitive Guide To Google Adwords, infringing upon Google’s trademark.

Many more can be found at Lorrie Morgan Ferrero’s Red-Hot-Copy blog such as; 72 Virgin Records Richard Branson, & White House Party Crashers the Salahi’s with Valerie Jarrett’s daughter.

The Rich Jerk sent out emails promoting Stompernet in Atlanta Georgia. The staff included Brad Fallon, an airline pilot, and Eben Pagan selling a seminar "Get Altitude". 3 days after reporting this code to the FBI, Delta in Atlanta canceled a large number of flights due to “safety reasons.” In the Youtube videos related to the Rich Jerk, it appears that Mark Cuban is the Rich Jerk. He’s the billionaire who owns the Dallas Maverick’s basketball team. Think O'bomber or Barrac-uda Palin would play for him? Another guy seen on Youtube claiming to be Robert Johnson Rich Jerk, is Tony Rezko.

Obama announced his run for office on Oprah Winfrey’s show. Have you ever noticed that Oprah’s friend Gayle King looks like Whitney Houston? Her name could be a code, Whit_ney White-Hous_ton House?

It appears the internet marketing experts controlled the comments, the headlines, and the finance of the last election online with the highest ranking site in Google search, Youtube.

In my strongest opinion this is the last piece of the puzzle, Osama Bin Laden is also a spokesperson, and a look-a-like. Osama represents Obama/Biden (Bi)n La(den.)

Here are wanted terrorists and their online aliases. They are working with Al-Qaeda to overthrow the nation and collapse our economy. Some are wanted for U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya & Indonesia. Do these two places ring any bells?http://illuminaticonspiracy.bl...

mark
mark

Brewer had an excellent game while the Mavs were sweeping 4-0 the 2 time defending LA Lakers ...While Tyon Chandlers passion and intensity were key ..they found their backbone and heart during the intense Blazers series I loved many aspects (including beating bronbron and dwayne on their home court after they talked smack all year long) they beat their opponent on the court and played a more cerebral team game ..

Njorosh
Njorosh

I accept the ESPN and NBA so called expert did not see the MAVS as a champion team, but having see this team very game in the last 10yrs I new they were on the way to do something big and I have the bets to prove it. The only person I have issues with is Richie whitt for his lack of ball to admit he votes on emotions about MAVS worst than those called experts. When MAVS win have a good column and when they loss, I told you soo. MAN up mr Whitt damp your emotion, write facts cut off the rhetoric and take time to know the game so you don't have to use cliches

Suburbanmale08
Suburbanmale08

I guess I'm one of the few who were so channeled into every ounce of the team's mannerisms and moods to the point that I didn't lose faith like most people (including most fans) because I could tell how they fought back and never panicked that they could take it all the way as long as those REFS were held in check!

Guest
Guest

It might be a good idea next time to re-think the headlines of your covers. I am used to very negative and snarky headlines from the Dallas Obvserver each week.

When I saw the "mav-wrecks" I was immediately offended and thought you were dragging them through the dirt on their day of celebration.

Also, you really need to fix the formatting of this article. It looks like one horrendous run-on sentence. Paragraph breaks would suit you very well. Tell your programmer to use some html tags. Also need to do some browser testing of this page. Dallas Observer did a really bad job overall with the layout and coding.

Patrickgbbb
Patrickgbbb

RW,Great writing. What a journey the lil' o' Mavs have concluded. Is it wrong to already be anxious for how next year (if it starts on time) will be? Lots of free agent questions remain to be answered. Let's hope Cubes keeps most of the team together. Enjoy the parade!!

SMIJCA
SMIJCA

I think when you but out quality stories like this, Ritchie, then it makes the half-assed blog posts that you sometimes post on Sportatorium glaringly, well, half-assed so you can't blame folks for calling you out on it.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that this was a high quality article that I think most will appreciate and...embrace.

You did good, Whitt. You did good.

Red8wins
Red8wins

Nicely done Ritchie.. Embrace it!!

Bluboi
Bluboi

Woo hoo, go Mavs! NBA champs baby!

Graham N. Hughes
Graham N. Hughes

Richie is a coward and didn't really own up to his dufus story where he lambasted the Mavs. Remember? He did the exact same kind of story on the Rangers last year!! He is the worst kind of cowardly PUTZ.

Guest
Guest

Never mind. Looks like you fixed the formatting issues. Refer back to sentence #1. : P

 
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