A Word About the Heat, and the Mavs Cinderella Myth

15 Jun

Let’s get a few things straight. The Dallas Mavericks have the third highest payroll in the league. The Dallas Mavericks roster is chock full of All Star appearances. The Dallas Mavericks logged only one less victory than the Miami Heat this season, and beat the crud out of the defending champs just a few weeks back. Oh yeah, and those Heat? They were the 20th ranked payroll in the NBA. They fired almost an entire team to clear the runway for “The Big Three”, knowing they would have to round out much of the supporting cast with, no disrespect to those players, “filler”.

For this team to get within two bad quarters of a title in their first six months together, with point guard play worthy of Division II college ball, was hugely promising. Lebron, who is now trapped beneath one of the biggest pile-ons in sports history, is still just the same age as Matt Ryan. Bet you he doesn’t have to wait ’til he’s Dirk’s age (7 years from now) to hoist that trophy. Miami’s got money to play with, and the Heat will be in the title mix for years to come. Despite what much of America seems to believe, this Dallas win was no miracle on ice. This was no David and Goliath story. The payroll equivalent of this win in baseball would be the Red Sox gloating about topping the Astros.

So why are Americans dancing in the streets?  It certainly had something to do with Lebron’s ill-conceived television special, which no one but the Boys Club is applauding. But it was more than that. It’s something Lebron hit upon when he recently spoke about people having to go back to their lives, and the same problems they had before. Lebron wasn’t saying he was superior to anyone. He wasn’t talking about Dallas fans, or even Cleveland fans specifically.  LBJ was diagnosing what was pretty easy to see if you glanced at the internet chatter, or eavesdropped on the talk at the water cooler. The anti-Heat venom was not based simply on basketball.

The Hater-ade was also (if you’ll allow me to go a little sociological up in here) about an America in recession. It was about a nation in need of a feel-good story. Lebron (and his considerable ego) made for a nice poster boy, though to be fair even he wasn’t cocky enough to get a tattoo of the trophy before winning one (a move which certainly would have been ridiculed to death had Lebron done it). So fine, everyone whose team was already sent on vacation got to still have a dog in the fight. They got to watch, and scarf popcorn, and root against the bad guys in black. It was great cinema, but anyone reaching for the Kleenex had been swept up into a movie based on a true story, with a healthy dose of fiction thrown in.

Dallas was the better team this year, and they won it fair and square.  But spare us the Cinderella story crap. No matter how desperately people want it to, that slipper doesn’t fit. Certainly not on Dirk’s size fifteens.

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9 Responses to “A Word About the Heat, and the Mavs Cinderella Myth”

  1. markeyh June 15, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    I like this….you are dead on!

    • Dan Ewen June 15, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

      Thanks! Appreciate the comment.

  2. Victor June 15, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

    Two words: Steve Nash. Miami will get new players in the offseason and will get better.

    • LosMavs June 17, 2011 at 9:47 am #

      Soory you lookin at the mavs in a small prespective. No one honestly picked the choker mavs to get to the finals, muchless beat the heat with dwanyne wade( who single handedly beat them in 2006) and lebron at the start of the season and all the way through it. All I heard all year was laker celtics and heat ..and sometimes bulls. So the mavs had a true underdog story this year with dirk who is in his 30s and a bunch of old washed up former all stars with a few filler players. The heat will be back but it will be harder the knicks will be a threat next year depending in their moves offseason

      • Dan Ewen June 17, 2011 at 12:13 pm #

        A “true underdog story”? Mavs have the #3 payroll in the NBA, and swept the Heat in the regular season. Afraid not, my man.

  3. InFINcible June 17, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

    Love it! FYI this our year (FINS) you heard it here first!

  4. Bookworm August 4, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    They are not a Cinderella Story? You are excusing this for a “High payroll” but Mark Cuban always has a high pay-roll. The same as the Lakers. He is known to overpay players.
    The Mavs were the cast-offs of the league.
    Their roster’s average age is like 31 and many of those players were considered to be old and washed up. Jason Kidd is a few more games and a depends diaper from Social Security. Dirk is in his 30’s and given that “Soft European” tag. Chandler was that flop who was injury prone and got throw around before Dallas landed him. Marion was washed up and supposedly not as great as his Phoenix Suns days. Stevenson was an average player with no real hype about him. Cardinal, Peja and other bench players are well into their 30’s and not seen as valuable to any team.
    Caron and Roddy were hit with injuries. JJ was the player no one wanted. Haywood is an underrated center who didn’t get any real recognition in the league.
    The Dallas mavericks are the classic Cinderella story. No one expect these group of old and injury prone to get anywhere in the playoffs. How many people in the league thought that the Dallas Mavericks would be champions? Every said a Dirk lead team would never get a ring. I say Dirk specifically is a Cinderella Story in the league. Lakers, Celtics, Bulls and Heats were the main teams in the talks of titles this year.
    Dallas went on a beautiful run this off season and beat any and every team worth beating.
    They were supposed to choke against Portland after that epic fail.
    They weren’t supposed to sweep the two-time defending champs lead by the Zen Master himself, Phil Jackson.
    The young and energetic Thunder was bound to spin circles around the older Mavs.
    And there was no way in hell a LeBron and Wade stacked teams was supposed to beat a Dirk lead team.
    Yet they beat all four of these teams and did it as the underdog in every series.
    Please, Give the Mavs credit and stop acting for one minute that they were favorites or their run was anything less than beautiful. The Mavericks are a Cinderella Story I hope to tell my kids one day. They gave every and any team in the NBA hope to win a title.
    As for Terrys tattoo, he got it in October but did not make a big fuss about it and it was not revealed he had it until the playoffs. Terry, however, was spectacular and serious in his predictions and faith in a Dallas Mavericks title.

    David v. Goliath? Absolutely. If the Heat would have won, the league would have been killed. Superstars would want to create super teams eliminating all and any competition between ALL of the team in the league.

    Dallas Mavs showed that a team can and will win before a Trio of guys.

    • Dan Ewen August 4, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

      “A classic Cinderella story”?

      You do realize that it was the Grizzlies who went further than any 8th seed in NBA history? And that the Mavs swept the Heat in the regular season? And that the Mavs only won one fewer game than Miami? And that Miami’s roster was older than Dallas’?

      One good team beat another good team. Dallas has every right to celebrate. But let’s not cheapen the term “Cinderella Story” by applying it to a team that won the second most games in the Western Conference.

    • garret October 21, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

      Couldn’t agree more! BEAUTIFUL

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