This is an interesting video from the Dallas Morning News of fans at the Dallas West End watching the end of Game 6 last night between the Mavericks and the Miami Heat, as well as comments from Mavs supporters leaving American Airlines Center after the Heat’s series clinching victory 95-92. Quite a few of those briefly interviewed blamed the refs, for sure. Still, fascinating reaction stuff, from fans of all ages.
On another note, we can’t recall anyone in David Stern’s position being booed unmercifully like the NBA commissioner was last night as he gave the league’s trophy to the Heat at midcourt for winning the series in six games, taking the clincher on Dallas’ home court. What happened to the trophy presentation being held in the winning lockerroom, champagne being sprayed over everyone, players screaming and hollering and TV execs hoping no one dropped their towels on national TV? Giving a title trophy away at midcourt at the NCAA Tournament, on a neutral court, makes sense for CBS, and the NCAA has done that for decades. Giving the NBA trophy away to the visiting team — who was the beneficiary of some strange officiating in earlier games in the series on their home court — in front of the losing team’s fans is just stupid. But Stern, in his efforts to “clean up” the NBA look of late with dress codes and excessive fines for what used to be just tpical-part-of-the-game hard fouls, has looked pretty stupid of late.
These playoffs, until they desintegrated into a streetball show for Dwyane Wade and the Heat over the last four games, with Dallas defenders being unable to even breathe on Wade without a foul being called, were the best we can recall watching in years, since early Jordan/Pippen championship years with the Bulls. The coverage in TNT, ESPN and ABC gave basketball fans more than a handful of new heroes to discover, such as Dallas’ Dirk Nowitsky and Josh Howard, Cleveland’s Lebron James, the resurgent post-Jordan Bulls, the usually woeful but finally surging L.A. Clippers with Elton Brand and a young cast. And these playoffs certainly proved to be the complete coming-out party for the Heat’s Wade as one-time Superman Shaq played second-fiddle and seemed to enjoy it for the most part, unlike the way he and Kobe seemed to clash in their final days together with the Lakers. The playoffs also led to the inevitable, annual question: Why do they insist on playing 82 regular-season games?
So the Finals failed to go seven games and the season ended two days earlier than planned; it all starts back up again in October.