Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A Bittersweet End

There is no worse feeling as a die-hard fan than to see your team get eliminated, especially when the expectations are so high. I imagine it's worse for a player or coach. It's very frustrating. So many factors played into with why we lost: Dwayne Wade's unstoppable performance, great team-defense by Miami, Dallas missing so many critical shots, inconsistent showings from Dirk and Josh, awful officiating, bad decisions made by Stu Jackson, etc. I don't believe, however, that Mark Cuban in any way hurt the team. The press is having a lot of fun with this. They want to make it look like Mark Cuban ruined everything because he's this big huge distraction. Well that's all bullshit. The players and coaches don't have anything to do with what Cuban does or says about the league and the officials. It doesn't affect them at all. They're concerned entirely with playing basketball. If Cuban distracted the players every time he opened his mouth, this franchise would have fallen apart years ago. He is a blessing to this organization and he is incredibly passionate for the game and his players. I loved it when he called 103.3 FM today and ripped that redneck Randy Galloway for calling the Mavs "gutless." What an idiot! I have completely lost respect for Galloway. He completely disrespected all the Mavericks players, coaches, and fans. Mind you, this is a LOCAL radio broadcaster and writer for the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. He has no business insulting the Mavericks for playing their hearts out and leaving it all on the court. As frustrating as it is to have lost, I am extremely proud of the Mavericks. The team completely beat all odds this season. No one expected us to sweep Memphis, let alone beat San Antonio IN San Antonio, and many had their doubts about the series with Phoenix. This was the best season in Dallas Mavericks history. It was the first time this franchise has ever made it to the NBA Finals, and I believe that this is the best Mavericks team ever put together. There was no Steve Nash or Jason Kidd running the point...it was Jason Terry and Devin Harris! There was no Michael Finley or Antawn Jamison...it was the scrappy players in Adrian Griffin, Stack, 'Quis, and Josh Howard that got the job done. I am glad to have heard that Cuban and Avery are committed to keeping this team together (i.e. re-signing Terry, and hopefully re-signing Griff). I'll write a blog about transactions as the summer progresses. But this is undoubtedly a championship-calibre team. How could it not be when a team beats the defending champions on their own floor AND shuts down one of the most potent offenses (Phoenix) the league has ever seen??? And just as a reminder: This was Avery Johnson's first full season as a head coach and he led us to the Finals...I'd say our future is quite promising. The guy's not going anywhere. He's staying in Dallas for a very long time and he will lead us to a championship. It's not a matter of if, but WHEN. Congratulations to our team for the best season, so far...

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