I was struggling through the course of this year’s NBA Finals. Why in God’s name was I enjoying watching the Dallas Mavericks win the title so much? After some thought, I realized . . . this Mavericks title reminded me very much of Houston’s first title in 1993.
1. Foreign born NBA legend
The similarities between Hakeem Nowitzki run deep. Here you have two foreign born big men, who are the the best players in the history of their respective franchises. They both have experienced playoff failure to a degree that their NBA legacies were in question before they won their first titles. Both men achieved titles after two of the greatest playoff performances in NBA history. Finally, both titles were won by these incredible centerpieces against teams that were deemed entitled to the championship. More on this in a bit.
2. The Fuck You Shooter
Jason Terry and Vernon Maxwell go down in history as the most hated players (by the opposing teams fans) in NBA Finals history. There is something special in the NBA about the Fuck You Shooter. They throw up threes during games at times that, when they miss, their fans go ballistic. However, when they hit those shots, they are savored forever. Robert Horry is, arguably, the best fuck you shooter in NBA history, but he wasn’t nearly universally hated like Jason Terry and Vernon Maxwell in their day.
3. You should be honored to be here
If you only read the what the media wrote about the the ’93 and ’11 NBA Finals, you would have thought the only thing the Mavericks and Rockets were playing for was the honor to watch the Miami Heat and New York Knicks win obligatory NBA titles. Instead, these two Texan teams rewrote the narrative, much to the chagrin of the arrogant fans of Miami and New York. Sports Illustrated even declined to print a commemorative issue to celebrate the Rockets title, until public outcry forced their hand. Dear SI, you can still go fuck yourselves.
Perhaps the greatest fallout from the Mavericks Finals win is this video goes down as the most unintentionally hilarious clip in NBA history.
The Mavericks restored my love for the NBA at a time when it was slipping away. I will always be grateful to Dirk Nowitzki and the rest of the Mavericks for this wonderful gift. Well, except for Jason Terry, I still hate that asshole.