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Dirk Does All The Right Things for Title

Dirk and Dallas finally have a championship. Mark Cuban couldn’t stop hugging people, Dirk Nowitzki got the MVP he deserved and will covet, and Jason Kidd finally got a championship to call his own.

The backlash has already started for the Miami Heat, mostly on Lebron James for his postgame comments, his general lack of effort in fourth-quarter situations the past few games and his overall cockiness throughout the season.

Different opinions surfaced on his future abilities and whether or not the future Hall of Famer will be able to rebound from this “failure.” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle is right, people are focusing far more on Lebron’s downfall than Dallas’ success. Dirk and Co. worked hard to get to the Finals, and even harder to beat the Heat.

Nowitzki was a force of nature throughout the six-game series, pile-driving down the lane, flawlessly racking up points with his fadeaway and sinking free throws (97.8 percent) like a 30-year CEO with his trash can hoop. And though it seemed he carried his team the first couple of games, his bench and the other pieces around him picked it up when he needed them the most.

JJ Barea brought it the last two games, scoring 17 and 15 points in respective outings, including a huge first half in Game 6 alongside Jason Terry when Dirk scored just one bucket. Speaking of Terry, the 11-year guard scored a game-high 27 points in Game 6, 19 of which came in that first half.

The Mavericks came together for this Finals win and were able to bring Dallas its first title with their leadership, camaraderie and support.

But James has been the most-discussed piece of sports news since last summer, and his inability to start his first season on a new team with the help he so desperately felt he needed gives everyone a bad taste in their mouth. Furthermore, his continued arrogance into the postgame press conference room did not bode well for his future in the league.

James had an excuse last time. He used an excuse every time his team didn’t make it to the Finals. This time, he got everything he wanted, made it to the Finals and still couldn’t make a championship happen. Championships are team efforts, made clear by Dallas. James brought the heat on himself, talking a big game, then showing a lack of energy and aggression and general indifference to playing in the last few games. Yet he takes no credit for the team’s losing.

Credit should be given to the Mavericks for their tough play. James’ performance just speaks volumes to the future of this Miami team and his individual future in the league. The way James played is not the way top players in the league play. Michael Jordan never gave up, Kobe Bryant never gave up, Larry Bird never gave up, Magic Johnson never gave up.

James gave up in the 2010 playoffs and he didn’t try as hard as he could have this year either. Lebron is not the best player in the league. He could be. He has the body, the speed and agility, the strength and the talent to be the best. Yet, he doesn’t try. Being the villain does not fuel him, being on a team with fellow All-Stars doesn’t help him.

Is there more pressure on James than others? Sure, but not just because of what he says and does. Because fans, coaches and the league know he could be better than he is. Watching the squandered talent waste away and go by another year untouched with a championship is frustrating after watching great players do it era after era, year after year. James’ talents could be rewarded if he hadn’t put such a high price tag on them in the first place.

Maybe Charles Barkley is right. James came into the league and the media and fans automatically christened him the next Michael Jordan. There is an immense pressure on him to perform at a higher level, but James added to it and needs to accept the responsibility for his failures and do something to make it work.

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