"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

I Hope You're Happy

Pat Riley wasn’t angry at John Starks for the shooting guard’s poor performance in Game 7 of the 1994-95 Finals. He was disappointed in Starks for the decision he made at the end of Game 6. With only a few seconds left in the game and the Knicks trailing by a basket, Starks took an inbound pass. The play called for him to dump the ball down to Patrick Ewing who would then try and tie the game, sending it to overtime. Instead, Starks took a three-point shot, hoping to win it all. But it was blocked by Hakeem Olajuwon and the Rockets won the game.

That off-season, Riley wanted Starks to know how hard he would have to work in order to be trusted at such a critical moment again.

That moment never came.

The Mavericks beat the Heat last night to win the NBA Finals and there is a lot of talk about how the Heat will eventually have their day. It’s a safe bet that they will. However, Dan Marino never made it back to the Super Bowl after his second season, and there is no guarantee that LeBron James will make it back to the Finals either.

In the meantime, while I am one of many fans celebrating the Heat’s loss, I’m also pleased for Mark Cuban, Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs. Yup, this is just about the best way the season could have ended.


1 Chyll Will   ~  Jun 13, 2011 9:29 am

Meh. Couldn't care less. Once the Knicks became a perpetual laughingstock and embarrassment, I've given up on the NBA.

2 ms october   ~  Jun 13, 2011 9:48 am

i wanted the heat to win.

but if any western conference team was going to beat them, i am glad it was the mavs and got a lot of guys who have put in a long time in the league their ring (well their chip since mark cuban said they are going to do something beyond a ring)

3 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 13, 2011 10:07 am

Dirk was a load.

4 Yankee Mama   ~  Jun 13, 2011 10:11 am

[3] I'm with you, AB. A feel good story with comeback and all. Go Dirk!

5 Shaun P.   ~  Jun 13, 2011 10:32 am

I'm glad the Mavs won. I don't wish the Heat any ill, but I'm glad they lost, this year. Not so easy to win a championship, is it now?

7 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 13, 2011 11:05 am

Jason Terry, JJ, and Chandler were terrific too.

8 Dimelo   ~  Jun 13, 2011 11:28 am

So glad the Mavs won, count me as one of the many people who is happier today knowing the Heat lost. So on Thursday, after the Yanks lost to the f'ing Sox, the only thing that made me happy again was seeing the Heat lose.

So happy for Dirk, I was also happy to see him not say anything to the Heat players after he won - he immediately went to the locker room. Nothing like a nice F*CK YOU to them, I hope Pat Riley is crying somewhere and he can't find his hair gel.

9 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 13, 2011 11:36 am

8) Ha! Agreed, but I'm also sure Pat is just fine.

10 William J.   ~  Jun 13, 2011 12:52 pm

Although I went from pulling for Lebron when he was underdog to rooting against him as a favorite in this series (as a Yankees fan, it's nice to have the chance to embrace the underdog without too much emotion invested in the outcome), the over-the-top critism has been ridiculous. It seems like most in the media and fandom have simply broken out the old Arod templates that were cast aside in 2009 and simply replaced his name with Lebron's. As soon as James wins his ring, which seems inevitable, I am sure all those who are criticizing him now will be lining up to be his best friend.

11 Dimelo   ~  Jun 13, 2011 1:22 pm

[10] One difference, though, I think it's easier for a basketball player like Lebron to create their own impact than a baseball player like ARod. I felt that Lebron wanted no part of being an impact player. Maybe the same is true for ARod, but there's still a pitcher that has to make his pitches too.

Lebron had plenty of chances to do something, so I think the criticism he's received is correct.

12 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jun 13, 2011 1:30 pm

[10] I've been thinking a lot about the similarity to Arod and supported James in these recent games because of it. But there are a few distinctions that need to be made between the two.

Arod got grief because he made a lot of outs in the postseason from the last few games of 2004 through 2007. Usually, he would get hits and homers at a certain rate, and this performance was way below normal. The performance was horrible, but the criticism was generally ignorant, assigning the bad play entirely to a flaw in his character rather than expecting random flucations in output which can be found in any player.

James also gets grief because of his poor play, but not because of his failure to hit shots at the similar rate as normal. Especially in the 4th quarters of these games, he stopped shooting and stopped dictating action and pace. In order to draw a direct comparison to arod, arod would've had to refuse to come to bat in the postseason.

If James kept on shooting and missing, people might call him a choker as they did to arod, and that criticism would be lifted when james had a good finals and won a ring. but they're not calling him a choker today, they're calling him a coward.

that might just be lebron's game, that he's not going to force it no matter what. and people might be calling him a coward becuase they misunderstood him from the get-go. but regardless, he's being taken to task for a different reason than arod was.

13 Chyll Will   ~  Jun 13, 2011 2:57 pm

I agree with William in that the criticism seems over-the-top, but in a lot of instances LeBron has stoked the flames by reacting to the criticism or appearing to act immature (giving the media and fans to take what he says or does out of context), so what can you really expect? I don't know the man and obviously I can only get one side of what he's like by seeing him on TV, but if it were me, I'd shut up and take a walk on the beach (it's right there) and contemplate the factors that have brought me to this point and why I'm so unsatisfied with it. And I'd concentrate on my own choices first. Some healthy and realistic introspection can do a lot of wonders for your life and career.

Losing couldn't have been a better thing for him, really. His public persona "appears" to need to build up even more character, given what he's dealing with and the world he's playing in. Couldn't we all...

feed Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email
"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver