Dirk has Slayed the King, Long Live Michael!

LeBron haters, Michael Jordan lovers, and Magic Johnson advocates rejoice! Scottie Pippen supporters head for the hills! LeBron James, King of the Dragons that have destroyed our villages and terrorized our citizens, has been vanquished by a German knight, Sir Dirk Nowitzki! With his blonde locks that flow from underneath his charcoal colored helmet and a stature that is God-like, he brandished his sword knowing that James had recently eaten Sir Paul Pierce and Sir Derrick Rose, knights from Boston and Chicago. Desperate, King Jordan pleaded that King Cuban send his best because he was his last hope to keep his legacy and empire in-tact! Sir Dirk stood looking at the James, sword unsheathed with no fear in his eyes.  He sliced and stabbed and flailed his mighty Excalibur at James, who accepted defeat and disappeared from the kingdom (or the fourth quarter). King Michael celebrated because his empire was saved and he blinded and banished the traitor Pippen from his kingdom of Chicago, where he will wander aimlessly forever!

Regardless of how ridiculous that analogy was it gets the point across. Yes, Dirk has finally won his championship. Yes, Dirk has earned his status as one of the best shooters in NBA history. Yes, it was against LeBron, the most hated man in sports. Yes, he deserves all of the credit that will be coming to him. Yes, he knew what was at stake and would not be denied. Yes, Jason Terry’s bold idea of getting the Larry O’Brien Trophy on tattooed on his arm turned out to be a motivational blessing than a disaster. Yes, Jason Kidd, one of the top point-guards ever, has finally endured enough failure in the Finals and deserves the title. Yes, Tyson Chandler was the player that helped put the Mavericks over the top because he was the tough inside presence that clogged up the lane for opposing players.  Yes, Rick Carlisle (My friend Steve said he looks like Jim Carrey and now when I see Carlisle I want to scream “LIKE A GLOVE!”) out-coached a useless Erik Spoelstra and adjusted to put the matchup in his favor. (Believe that Spoelstra is a decent coach? It took him 3-and-a-half series for him to realize Mike Bibby is terrible.). Yes, Scottie Pippen’s drug test came back positive. And yes, the Mavericks will not get their due credit because the most pressing question about the NBA Finals is: What the hell happened to LeBron James?

First, stop about his personal problems off the court. Allen Iverson, who had infinitely more personal problems with his 20 person entourage and his battles with a gambling addiction, never let that affect his game.  LeBron didn’t show up to play, plain and simple. There are two embarrassing parts of the series; the 16-1 run the Heat went on in game 6 when he was on the bench and his 9-28 from three. The former shows that he was hurting his team and the latter shows he wasn’t driving to the basket (the strongest part of his game).

 Everyone can exhale because Jordan’s title as “Best Ever” has survived again. (Isn’t it crazy that each generation the “best ever” played then had his title taken? Look at it, Wilt lost it to Kareem, who lost it to Magic/Larry Bird. They lost it to Jordan and he has kept it even with the hype from Jerry Stackhouse and Grant Hill and more realistically, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. It makes you wonder if Jordan’s title is as safe as Joe DiMaggio’s 56 game hit streak.)  James, whom during the Boston and Chicago series every sports writer, blogger, fan, anchor, analyst, and Joe Shmoe swore he was clutch and swore that he finally arrived. He had them all thinking, “Here’s the start of the Miami Heat dynasty and the start of their six or seven championship run.” However, as I wrote in a past post, LeBron didn’t prove anything yet and had a long way to go before we dubbed him the best in the NBA RIGHT NOW, let alone EVER.  For the second time in two years, LeBron has become a non-factor in the biggest of situations that has led him to quit on his team.  He finished with 18 points TOTAL in the fourth quarter in six games during the Finals (he averaged three points in the fourth quarter. To compare, Dirk had 62 points or 10 points per fourth quarter. ).  If you go back and look at the video, Dirk grabbed his “Mentally Weak and Chokes” card and asked LeBron, “Hey you mind holding this for me?” after he was given his Finals MVP trophy.

Remember in elementary school (or middle school depending how immature your friends were) when you would be playing basketball and one of your friends messed up a few times so you yelled “JIM, YOU CAN’T DRIBBLE, STOP!” Not because you didn’t think he was good, but because you’re competitive and just wanted to win.  So as a means of revenge he just got the ball to pass, no matter if he was open and his mindset was “FINE, you do everything!” That’s exactly what LeBron did to Dwyane Wade.  Wade screamed at him during game 3 and it looked like it got to LeBron because he deferred to Wade for the rest of the series. In game 5 when Wade left because he injured his hip, it was the perfect time for LeBron to take over as the superstar, but he just passed to other superstars Udonis Haslem and Mario Chalmers (who showed more fire than LeBron). I’m sorry, but I can’t call a player who mopes like a baby great yet.  Throughout the series Wade got to the basket and drove the lane anytime he wanted as LeBron settled for jumpers and three-pointers (the two weakest aspects of his game.).  In game five he had a triple-double with 17-10-10 but that is the most misleading and hollow triple double in NBA history because in the fourth quarter he scored two points. It’s baffling in that he is the most physically unique athlete to play in the NBA. He is so fast, so strong, and so big that he should score at will, but he was shut down by a hungrier Mavericks team. 

Where does LeBron go from here? He needs to get into the gym and work on his jump shot until it becomes routine and ends his reputation as a streaky shooter.  A good perimeter shot would allow him to gain his confidence and have something to fall back on when is drives to the basket are taken away.  However, most importantly, he should watch tapes of Kobe and see how to play in the low post because if he learns how to post up he will be very close to unstoppable.  As far as his legacy, he took a major step backwards in his quest to be considered the best ever, regardless if he wants to be compared to Jordan or not. 

But seriously, was the analogy that bad?

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