The Dallas Mavericks did more than win an NBA Championship, they made NBA GMs stand and take notice at their formula for success. The free agent frenzy that has been taking place over the last couple of years had every team trying to shed payroll to sign as many elite players as possible. When the Miami Heat corralled a couple all-stars to team up with their remaining all-star, to form the South Beach version of the big three, that seemed like the wave of the NBA future. Sign your way to a title.
The NBA must have been happy with the spike in ratings this year, but long term, having just a handful of teams with the majority of the superstars, thus leaving most teams to pick up the scraps, wasn’t going to be good for business. Things had to change and thankfully, they did, something odd happened along the way. The Mavs won with their own superstar, who was their lone 2011 All-Star Game representative, by playing team basketball.
From Yahoo sports and Dallas Maverick Dirk Nowitzki:
“We worked so hard and so long for it,” Nowitzki said. “The team has had an unbelievable ride.”
“This feeling, to be on the best team in the world, it’s just undescribable,”
And from Mavericks Head Coach Rick Carlisle:
“This is a true team,” Carlisle said. “This is an old bunch. We don’t run fast or jump high. These guys had each other’s backs. We played the right way. We trusted the pass.”
The bromance between LeBron James and Dwyane Wade seemed to alienate the other Heat players. They seek each other out for the post game hug, they face the media together, they seem to want it to be all about them. The old saying goes ‘there is no I in team’, to which the smart ass replies, ‘no, but there is a me’, and those two have a lot of look at me moments.
From ‘The Decision’, to the gigantic party before the season started, to the pointless Twitter comments, to the over the top celebration when they beat the Celtics, it all caused the light bulb to go on for me. And then there was a quote from Wade after James scored only 8 points in game 4 that told us everything we needed to know. Wade told the USA Today, “Obviously, he feels like he let me down. … Obviously, I understand he’s going to respond.”
He feels as though, “he let me down”? Not us, not the team, not letting down the Heat, but “me”. Every quote you find from the Mavs refer to us and we. There may be a “me’ in team, but you wouldn’t know that by watching the Mavericks play.