Tag:Dirk Nowitzki
Posted on: June 13, 2011 1:31 am
Edited on: June 13, 2011 8:01 am

Winning NBA Finals validates Mavs' Cuban

Posted by Matt Moore

MIAMI -- He's the owner you want. You may despise his attitude, his bombastic attraction to the spotlight, his incessant assaults on officials, and how he blatantly and painfully reaches out with metrics and trades and promotion in every way he can. But it will not change what you have to admit, what you had to admit before these Finals and what you cannot escape after the Dallas Mavericks secured their first NBA championship.

Mark Cuban is the owner you want.

For 11 years Mark Cuban has invested in the Mavericks. Not only money (has he ever spent money), but time, energy, brainpower, manpower and emotion. He poured his lifeblood into the Mavericks. He fought with other owners, he fought with Phil Jackson, he fought with the league over every officiating tendency. And year after year he was denied the promised land, year after year he was met with only failure. How many other owners would continue to pump that much money, that much emotion into an investment that had caused so much disappointment and grief? 

Cuban would. Cuban did. And now, he's got the ring to show for it.

As Cuban sat at the podium Sunday night, a you-know-what-eating grin on his face, he didn't offer a cocky "We knew this would happen." There weren't any pot shots at the league. There was only gratitude. Cuban, for all his faults, wanted this badly. And after finally reaching the summit, instead of gloating about how smart he is, instead he talked about what he had learned.

"I learned chemistry matters," Cuban said. "That it's a team game. That you have to have players that believe in each other and trust each other and trust your coach. And that's a process. It doesn't happen overnight."

It didn't for the Mavericks. Over the past 10 years they've seen the kind of heartbreak that can fracture franchises. The Big Brother Spurs always lording over them. When they finally pushed past, they slammed head-first into the Heat who -- in 2006 -- celebrated capturing the same trophy Cuban clutched as his own Sunday night. The next season, they lost in one of the most devastating playoff upsets in NBA history, a loss to the Warriors that destroyed the hopes of one of the truly great teams of the 2000s. They dealt with injuries, second-guessing of trades, their methods, the metrics they used. And on Sunday, all of it was wiped away in a champagne rain of celebration. Cuban was in the locker room, boisterous as ever, and oh, yeah, even gave the media what they came for, a magnificent I-don't-care-I-just-won-the-title curse on national television. 

Shawn Marion was asked in the locker room if Cuban could talk now. Marion, high on the moment, said: "Oh my God, if you think I have swag? He's got ultimate swag!"

That ultimate swag is defined by Cuban's intelligent decision-making. He runs his mouth because he backs it up with his pocket book and in his approach. Maybe more than anything, these Finals showed that it's not only about putting together a championship team, it's about a championship organization. From the head coach -- who was respected, won but ultimately was fired everywhere he went -- to the advanced metrics approach Cuban relentlessly pursued, to the massive amount of in-game entertainment Cuban puts together. The Mavericks are a class-act organization, even if Cuban doesn't always portray that. And as of this moment, it no longer matters.

They're a championship organization.

Cuban spoke effusively about Dirk Nowitzki's work ethic and about what the Big German has meant to his franchise.

"I never questioned Dirk. Never even a little bit," Cuban said. "Dirk helps set the culture of a team. And culture is critically important for a winning organziation. It's critically important for a successful team."

He credited Carlisle, and even said that metrics played a part in the decision to hire Carlisle (though his interview clearly was more important). He credited the people in his organization, from Donnie Nelson to Keith Grant and on down. Cuban didn't act like he did all the work, though to think Cuban isn't heavily involved day-to-day, that he didn't help build this team, is naive. He put in the money and time, the blood, sweat and tears.

And now he finally has his trophy to show for it.

Fans are so often stymied by ownership. They'll know their guy won't spend, or he'll spend irrationally, or he'll always overreact to situations, or that he's completely disloyal. What they want is a guy who will spend to win, who will work to improve no matter what, who will stay involved and fight for his team. They want an owner who does all the things the guy at that podium did on Sunday night, grinning to all the world and asking the press when he walked in, reeking of champagne and sweat, "Did anybody inform you guys we're the world champions?"

They want an owner like Mark Cuban.

Hail to the King, baby.
Posted on: June 13, 2011 1:27 am
Edited on: June 13, 2011 3:41 am

Not this year for the Heat, but they're not done

Posted by Royce Young

MIAMI -- It didn't finish the way it was supposed to for the Heat. "The Decision," the preseason celebration, the dancing, the talking, the predictions, the declarations, the arrogance -- it all looks downright stupid now.

The Dallas Mavericks just celebrated an NBA championship right in front of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. On their home floor, too.

The Mavs were the better team. They understood everything about winning. They understood the little things you have to do. Every player on the roster was available to contribute and, as an example, Ian Freaking Mahinmi played some seriously important minutes and made some big-time plays for them in Game 6.

That's what it takes to taste "The Moment." That's what it takes to be a champion. I think it's in the "How To Win A Championship Manual." Unlikely players come up huge in unlikely moments. The Heat were missing those moments, those players. It was supposed to be LeBron, Wade and Bosh. That was the master plan. But the Mavs showed that it's all about individual talent coming together to win as a group. As a team. Dallas made the plays, got the rebounds, got the stops and did enough to finish it off. They were just better.

NBA Finals: Game 6
Ken Berger Ken Berger
For the Heat to win a championship, LBJ and D-Wade need an attitude adjustment. Read More>>
Related links
2011 NBA Playoffs More playoffs coverage
Bracket, sked | Scores
Playoffs stats | Latest news

And as a result, they're the 2010-11 NBA champions.

But it ends there.

"We understand our goal is to win a championship," Wade said after the game. "We wasn't able to accomplish that Year One. But this ain't the end of the Miami Heat. We'll use this as motivation and come back and try to do this again."

That Year One was an experiment didn't finish quite right. But think back to the whole season the Heat just experienced. All those moments where people said, "See? They've got no chance!" The 9-8 start, the five-game losing streak, the struggles in crunch time. The supposed "bump," the talk of Pat Riley replacing Spoelstra, CryGate, all the ridiculous media stories covering every single move they made. They had a lot going on this first season.

Many felt that, in the preseason, in December and even in April, this Heat team wasn't built for a championship. LeBron and Wade weren't totally ready to play together. Chemistry was lacking. The roster didn't have enough depth. Figuring out how to win games was going to come with a little more time. Look back at the predictions in October. The Heat were not an odds-on favorite for the title or even to reach the Finals, despite of the power and talent assembled on the roster.

Lockout talk aside -- because who really wants to think about that right now -- this Heat team will have a next season. This wasn't a one and done deal. Really, if anyone had a window that was near shut, if anyone was having a now or never moment, it was the Mavs.

The future for the Heat is still as bright as any franchise in the league. Their outlook remains bright. Three great players, a terrific young coach, a smart guy in the front office, a solid owner and a lot of room to improve. Nothing says this team can't rip off a three-peat starting next season. Nothing says they will win it all, either. But the point is that the future is a blank canvas for the Heat.

The roster isn't perfect. There's work to be done. Erik Spoelstra said he could win with these guys, and he was almost right. But like every other team in the league, the Heat want to be better next season. Bosh, as he typically does, put it extremely well after the game.

"There's no hiding. In the NBA, you play a series, best of seven games, usually the better team is going to win. So we've got work to do," he said. "We have to go back to the drawing board. It hurts to come this far and come up short. It's disappointing, but hopefully we can use this as motivation going forward.

"Looking back on it, this was our first year. Absolutely we would like to have won it this year. But just being optimistic, looking forward, yeah, I mean, there's a bright spot, but we have to work and we have to develop the mindset to go get it.

Of course they missed a big opportunity. This season ends in disappointment instead of celebration. It's damn hard to get to the NBA Finals and they were there and didn't finish the job despite having two games to win at home. That's a killer. That opportunity doesn't come along very often.

But LeBron is 26. Wade is 29. Bosh is 27. They're all signed through 2014. Mike Miller, Udonis Haslem and Joel Anthony, too. A solid core is there. A core that was two wins away from an NBA title. To think this team is far off and won't ever get there is insane. That's one hell of a talented group in South Beach.

This championship run ended. It didn't finish as they had hoped, especially after that ludicrous welcome party almost a year ago. This wasn't the first in a run of not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six championships that LeBron promised.

But it's not over for this group. Not by a long shot. Get all your jokes and ha-has in now, because eventually, there's a good chance the Heat may have the last laugh.
Posted on: June 13, 2011 12:52 am
Edited on: June 13, 2011 5:05 am

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban swears on live TV

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban swears on live television following his team's 2011 NBA Finals win. Posted by Ben Golliver.

Disclaimer: The video in this post contains explicit language.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been silent for weeks. He ended that silence with a bang. And a bleep.

During a live postgame interview following the Mavericks' 105-95 Game 6 win over the Miami Heat -- a win that clinched the 2011 NBA title -- Cuban profanely praised his team's fans.

"As much as our fans are maligned, this and that," Cuban said. "Our fans just punked the sh*t out of the Miami fans. You know, literally, that's the only way you can say it."

Cuban's comment was in reference to a vocal gathering of Mavericks fans that attended Game 6 in Miami's American Airlines Arena.

Now, we all wait to see whether the FCC will fine Cuban or the television network more harshly or less harshly than the NBA has fined him for complaining about the league's officiating over the years.

Here's video of Mark Cuban's S-bomb on live television.

Posted on: June 13, 2011 12:44 am
Edited on: June 13, 2011 10:11 am

LeBron James tweets: God says it's not my time

Miami Heat forward LeBron James tweets that God said it's not his time to win an NBA title after losing the 2011 NBA Finals to the Dallas Mavericks. Posted by Ben Golliver.

Shortly after the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals, Heat forward LeBron James took to Twitter to explain what happened.

"The Greater Man upstairs knows when it's my time," James tweeted. "Right now isn't the time."


James finished with 21 points, four rebounds, six assists and six turnovers in 40 minutes in Game 6, as the Mavericks closed out the Heat, 4-2.

James, 26, is now 0-for-2 in NBA Finals trips. He also lost in the 2007 NBA Finals to the San Antonio Spurs as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. His Finals averages: 17.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 6.8 assists. For the postseason, James averaged 23.8 points, 8.6 rebounds and 5.9 assists.

This loss will largely be pinned on his shoulders. The Heat entered the Finals as heavy favorites, with three of the best four players in the series in James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Nevertheless, Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki and a solid supporting cast that included Jason Terry, Shawn Marion and Jason Kidd pulled off the upset in stunning fashion, closing out the series in American Airlines Arena, Miami's homecourt.

Posted on: June 13, 2011 12:33 am
Edited on: June 13, 2011 1:24 am

Mo Williams: 'Dallas healed my heart'

Posted by Royce Young

MIAMI -- After LeBron James left the Cavaliers behind, which included leaving behind a group of teammates he was very close to, Mo Williams actually said he considered retiring.

He was so heartbroken by LeBron leaving that he actually questioned why he was even playing basketball. That's pretty real stuff right there.

So, with the Mavericks beating LeBron's team in The Finals -- and with LeBron underwhelming everyone throughout -- Williams said it's all better for him now. Broken heart: fixed.

Williams' tweet basically sums up a lot of the way the city of Cleveland feels. It's become this semi-ridiculous sentiment throughout Cleveland that somehow they vicariously won a championship through LeBron's loss. I can't get behind that, but the feeling is real and Williams speaks for them.

It's definitely not closure on the whole thing because LeBron still plays for the Heat and the Cavs are still terrible. But it's at least something. Maybe they can move on a little now. If Williams can, why not everyone else?

Oh who am I kidding. Cleveland's probably halfway burnt down by now. Live it up, I guess.
Posted on: June 12, 2011 11:48 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 1:28 am

Chris Bosh emotional reaction to NBA Finals loss

Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh has an emotional reaction to losing the NBA Finals. Posted by Ben Golliver.

Following the Miami Heat's Game 6 loss to the Dallas Mavericks -- a loss that gave the Mavericks their first NBA title -- cameras caught Heat forward Chris Bosh collapsing under the emotional weight of the moment.

Bosh, heading to the tunnel, doubled over, clutching both of his knees as his teammates attended to him. He then fell to his knees and appeared to use his arms to brace himself against the ground as he collapsed. The camera cut back to the on-court scene, but later found Bosh again as he walked towards the Heat locker room. He wiped his face and staggered a bit, with Heat reserve center Erick Dampier consoling him with a hand around his waist.

Bosh finished with 19 points and eight rebounds in 39 minutes. For the Finals, Bosh averaged 18.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 39.8 minutes per game. 

The loss ended an emotional season for Bosh and the Heat, as he decided to join teammates Dwyane Wade and LeBron James in Miami rather than return to play for the Toronto Raptors, the only NBA team he had played for prior to this season.

Here's video of Bosh's emotional reaction to losing the 2011 NBA Finals. 

Posted on: June 12, 2011 11:25 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 1:32 am

Dan Gilbert tweet jabs Heat, LeBron

Posted by Royce Young

MIAMI -- Dan Gilbert made a promise after "The Decision."


So far, so good.

The Mavs topped the Heat in six games and, naturally, Gilbert had to speak up. Via Twitter, Gilbert said this:

I think we are all smart enough to deduce Gilbert's real message there. And it's not even in Comic Sans.

Gilbert has done a solid job keeping a muzzle on himself throughout the season after the initial crazy letter, but obviously he just couldn't hold back. I'm not sure I blame him either. He speaks for the entire organization and city that still feels the sting of LeBron's departure.

It's petty to rub salt in the wound of a fallen team, but again, I get it. And, really, Gilbert's right: There aren't shortcuts to a title. But it's definitely true that the Heat's path to a title is a lot shorter than the Cleveland's is right now.
Posted on: June 12, 2011 11:04 pm
Edited on: June 12, 2011 11:28 pm

Dallas Mavericks 2011 trophy presentation video

Video of the 2011 Larry O'Brien trophy after the Dallas Mavericks won the 2011 NBA Finals, beating the Miami Heat, 4-2. Posted by Ben Golliver.


The Dallas Mavericks are your 2011 NBA champions.

NBA commissioner David Stern presented the Larry O'Brien trophy to the Mavericks following their 105-95 victory in Game 6 of the 2011 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban requested that Stern present the trophy to the original owner of the Mavericks, Donald Carter and his wife, Linda Jo.

Cuban then took the trophy, clutching it with one hand, before passing it on All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki, who held it high above his head with both hands. It marks the first title in franchise history and the first of Nowitzki's career.

"You know what, it doesn’t mean as much to me," Cuban said. "I just feel so good for Dirk, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Shawn Marion. The whole world was telling us we were the one-and-done boys, that we were going to get knocked out in the first round. This team has so much heart, so much determination and so much fortitude that you know what, I love every one of them. And let me just tell you, our fans that came down here to Miami. You guys rock, we heard you guys."

Cuban was then asked why he has maintained silence throughout the last few weeks despite being one of the league's most outspoken owners. Cuban refused to answer the question.

"It doesn’t matter," Cuban said. "Where’s Dirk, where’s Jet? Rick, why don’t you talk?"

He then signaled for Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle to step up to the microphone.

Nowitzki was named MVP of the 2011 NBA Finals MVP. 

Here's video of the Dallas Mavericks trophy presentation.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com