Yes, I watched Game 1 of the NBA Finals last night and saw our local boys get outhustled and outplayed by the despicable Miami Heat (a.k.a, the Spawn of Satan). And who knows, maybe evil prevails and we lose again to these chest-pounding, self-obsessed fame junkies. We live in a fallen, corrupt world where bad people often win. But no matter what the outcome, I will be crazy proud of our Dallas Mavericks, a collection of fifteen men who have played like a true team all season. In some ways, they remind me of their small ball counterparts, last year’s Texas Rangers, who showed old school teamwork and selfless spirit all the way to the World Series. Contrast this team approach to the Three Giant Pigs of Miami feeding at the glory trough. They aren’t real teammates; they’re a trio of sports enterprises who just happen to need the other 13 guys to field a regulation NBA squad. It’s all about them, all the time. Even the city of Miami is an afterthought.
The Mavericks, by comparison, orbit around the most humble of superstars in Dirk Nowitzki, a player who has led by example at every turn. As much as their starters, the Mavs are defined by their deep bench of supporting players, who all manage to chip in when the chips are down (last night excepted!). They are, I think, a fine representation for Dallas, a business-driven city where teamwork is prized — even when egomaniacs like Jerry Jones and Tom Hicks do their headline-stealing best to mess up the storyline. The Mavericks have given us still another 50-win season and a glorious, thrilling, pride-inducing playoff run. They are winners. They are good for Dallas. And they are already the classiest team in the 2011 NBA Finals.