Monday, June 13, 2011

Cleveland can enjoy another's pain

IT'S POSSIBLE that Dirk Nowitzki, the talented German power forward of the Dallas Mavericks, was the only player on the floor Sunday night who understood the word schadenfreude, which describes one's joy in another's pain. But as a modest and courteous athlete, Kirk would leave it to much of the basketball world to express in the wake of his team's surprising victory over the Miami Heat to claim the NBA championship. The final score simply focussed on the boorish behavior of LeBron James ever since he announced his departure from Cleveland in an outrageous one-hour TV spectacle in which he appeared as The King.

From there, it became a truism among the analysts that the Heat had just bought itself a slam-dunk championship with the addition of LeBron James and Chris Bosh. And in a incredibly tasteless self-congratulatory event - even for professional sports - it beatified LeBron, Bosh and Dwyane Wade on center stage. Wade assured the cheering audience that this collection of talent was "arguably the best trio to ever play the game of basketball."

It would be easy, said King LeBron, who added that they would not win one championship, but six.. seven...eight . You had to wonder why they would bother to play out the season. Well, even for royalty, those are the rules. And along came the aging Mavericks to challenge the gang that couldn't shoot straight. For guys like Nowtizki and Jason Kidd who had hung around for years trying to win their first championship ring, they simply went about their business in the playoffs and left the bragging to others.

The Heat had Lebron, who faltered, when they desperately needed Michael Jordan to close the deal. All that remains of the Heat season is the tattered promise to "wait 'til next year".

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