Wednesday, 1 June 2011


Dirk Nowitzki is a wily old vet who snares opponents off their feet with multiple fakes, before shooting off balance, one legged back breaking shots that defy logic and the very fundamentals of the game of basketball. Thunder forward Nick Collison can tell you that for free. He is a 7 foot power forward who shoots the 3 ball as well as the best of them. At his best, he’s as ungaurdable as they get. The long and short of it -literally– is that he is a stone cold assassin!

Jason Kidd will go down as one of best point guards ever seen in the NBA. He is a sure fire Hall of Famer. He’s also a wily old vet who ‘sees’ the entire floor in HD. He dishes out assists like it’s going out of style. He’s also 38 years old and it’s safe to say Father time isn’t on his side at the moment!

These two men have something in common, aside from being teammates for the Western Conference champions, the Dallas Mavericks, they have the collective sympathy of the NBA. Dirk is the best non American player to ever grace the NBA. He is also championship- less. His Mavericks led 2-0 against the Dwayne Wade led Miami Heat in the 2006 NBA Finals, only to lose the next four games in the best of seven series.  Kidd led the New Jersey Nets to the NBA Finals twice and couldn’t win it all.

Now they have a chance at redemption. They open the 2011 NBA Finals against.... the Miami Heat on Tuesday night. So many heart warming sports hero movies dictate that these two likeable veterans put the big bad Miami Heat away and walk off into the sunset. Unfortunately despite all our best prayers, this is beginning to seem like an unlikely scenario. The reason... LeBron James. When James and Chris Bosh connived to join D-Wade in Miami with the view of winning “multiple” championships, the world sneered in derision saying the project would never work. Inside, we all had a ‘feeling’ but convinced ourselves it would tank. Now our worst fears have come true! God forbid, we have to watch another ESPN special titled “They hated but The Decision was right, am that good”.

 For those of us football enthusiasts, what James, Wade and Bosh did would be the equivalent of Christiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Carlos Tevez and Zlatan Ibrahimovic converging in Barcelona in the off season because they’ve discovered playing against each other ain’t fun no more, and they’d rather band together, hopefully whip the crap out of the other now weaker teams, and win “multiple championships”. Bollocks!! It doesn’t make me proud to admit it but James is one of the few sportsmen who just rubs me the wrong way. He is up there with the likes of Christiano Ronaldo, Kobe Bryant, El Hadj Diouf and Michael Schumacher. Yes, Dwayne Wade is perhaps the most explosive guard in the game, in full health, and Chris bosh is a more than decent forward, but without James I wouldn’t give them a shout in this series. No one on the Mavs roster can stand toe to toe with James and that unfortunately will be the Mavs undoing

So, let’s pray and just wish the Mavs the best of luck. I will be their loudest supporter. May the vets retire with something to show for all the entertainment they’ve provided.  over the years. LeBron can wait another year. Time is still on his arrogant, self absorbed  side. Realistically, though, I see the youth and athleticism of Miami overcoming the experience and wiliness of the Mavs. I mean seriously, Shawn Marion v LeBron. DeShawn Stevenson v Wade. Doesn’t matter how much better Dirk and Kidd are against Bosh and Bibby respectively, the numbers don’t add up.

This puts me in the rare position of predicting against the team I am supporting. If my prediction comes to pass, am a promising pundit. If it doesn’t, am happy for the wily vets, and sneering in derision at the self proclaimed King, his version of Merlin...and of course their not very trusted side kick.

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