Dirk Nowitzki threw out the first pitch of Friday’s Rangers-Mets game, and let’s just say he’s no Nolan Ryan …
First thing’s first: Cherise Navidad? Is that a stage name? Navidad is the host of a Saturday night radio show on Cleveland’s Q104, and if I hadn’t taken four-plus years of Spanish before college I would probably think someone was wishing me a merry Christmas every time I heard her say, “you’re back with Cherise Navidad on Q104…”
Like so many other Clevelanders and fans all across America, Navidad was blown away by how arrogant LeBron James was in leaving Cleveland via “The Decision.” She took it one step further. Navidad was so desperate for someone to make sure LeBron didn’t win a title that she made a promise on Twitter to name her unborn son “Dirk” if the Mavericks were able to stop Miami. We all know how that turned out. More specifically, we all know how dominant Dirk was along the way.
According to the NY Daily News, Navidad is going to cash in on her promise. She said it was her job to name their first son which means it is her husbands turn this time around, but Dirk will be used as the child’s middle name if necessary.
“When you want someone to beat LeBron so badly, you will do anything,” Navidad explained. “(I’ll tell my son) exactly that this is how silly your mom is. This is what we did, and Twitter is a binding contract.”
With the way Nowitzki played in the postseason, I might legally switch my own name to Dirk.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said after his team won the NBA title that championship rings are done and that he wanted to take the tradition to the next level. We’ve seen plenty of ideas ranging from statues to private islands, but our personal favorite is mini-giraffes. And if Cuban is planning to take it to the next level, he better be going exotic with his idea. As it stands, the notion that he’s just going to get the team bracelets is pretty weak.
Speaking on PTI Tuesday, Dirk Nowitzki agreed. “I’m an old school guy and when he brought that idea up I think the whole team was a little dumbfounded,” Nowitzki said. “I don’t think the last word has been spoken there. I think he was thinking about a bracelet or something but the ring is just so classic and everybody I think wants a ring.”
In separate yet related comments, Dirk said “I’m a man, I don’t know how I’d feel about a bracelet.”
Coach Rick Carlisle expressed a similar sentiment saying “It’s got to be rings. I don’t know what [Cuban's] thinking. You win an NBA championship, you gotta have a ring. If he wants to give guys something else (in addition to) a ring, that’s great.”
I’m in agreement with what Carlisle said. Cuban can get his team something else, but he should also get them rings. And if he’s making this big of a deal over bracelets as Dirk intimated, then I’d be really disappointed. That’s not next level, that’s poker stuff. When we think of Mark Cuban and next level, we think of private islands, customized cars, and heck even NBA franchises. There’s no way he’s going to do bracelets, so the suspense is mounting.
It’s over now, the journey that led the Mavericks through heartbreak and frustration and, finally, redemption. They won the title Sunday. They beat the Heat and bathed in champagne, 250 bottles worth apparently.
After 13 seasons, Dirk Nowitzki and Mark Cuban finally became champions. They made their mark. They partied with Lil Wayne.
Dallas was the unexpected contender. Few expected them to get out of the first round, much less win it all. They kept coming, though. Kept coming like a tidal wave, Hurricane Dirk crashing on the shores of Portland, Los Angeles, Oklahoma City and Miami. Hurricanes Terry and Barea crashing intermittently behind. Rick Carlisle orchestrating the whole thing like Poseidon, a crafty, Grinch-looking sea wizard.
The Mavs were resolute. They didn’t complain when they lost, didn’t brag when they won. They were a team of destiny. They defied setbacks and challenges, including Dirk’s illness and the injury to Brendan Haywood. Like Khal Drogo they aimed to mount the world, and they did. Few of them did it beside a woman as hot as Daenerys, though. And by few I mean J.J. Barea. Lucky jerk.
Ultimately, the Mavs stunned LeBron James and Dwyane Wade and won their first title in franchise history.
How did they pull it off? Here were three keys to Dallas’ 2011 Finals victory:
It would be tough to find someone who doesn’t respect Dirk Nowitzki for scoring 21 points for the Mavericks — 10 in the fourth quarter — during a Game 4 victory against the Heat despite a fever that allegedly reached 101 degrees. Or would it? Perhaps we have to look no further than the Miami locker room, where Dwyane Wade and LeBron James appeared to have a little fun at Dirk’s expense after their team’s shootaround on Thursday. Here is the video of LeBron and D-Wade making fun of Dirk’s sickness courtesy of CBSSports.com:
If there were a proper time to criticize LeBron James for his lack of offense during the NBA Finals, Game 4 was it. The Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks played their third game that was decided by a basket, and for the second time this series the Mavericks came out on top.
Dirk Nowitzki fought through a fever that reached 101 degrees to score 21 points — 10 in the fourth quarter — in Dallas’ win. Though Jason Terry shot down any comparison to Michael Jordan’s infamous flu game in the ’97 finals, there is little doubt that Dirk came up big in the clutch. And if you have any wonders about how sick he was, just look at his face in the picture. The dude looked like the cousin of death.
LeBron James on the other hand did very little down the stretch. LBJ handled the ball and distributed in the previous finals games and the strategy resulted in wins two of the three games. His decisions to pass to his teammates were usually the right ones because he was double-teamed leaving someone open. But LeBron showed very little aggression in Game 4 even when he should have. He received high pick and rolls allowing him a one-on-one match up yet he decided not to drive late in the game. For whatever reason, he didn’t attack the basket and he ended up with just eight points on 3-for-11 shooting. The eight-point performance was LeBron’s playoff career low and it left him saying he needs to be more assertive in the future.
Entering Game 1 of the NBA Finals, most observers agreed that Dirk Nowitzki had been the best player in the playoffs. During his games, announcers frequently debated his place in history. Coach Rick Carlisle stated he felt Dirk was a Top 30 player all time. Former coach and current analyst Jeff Van Gundy proclaimed during Dirk’s brilliant Game 1 against the Thunder that Nowitzki was a Top 10 player all time.
Inevitably, people began comparing Dirk to Larry Bird, suggesting Nowitzki may be the greatest white player ever. Even though their style of play is different, people thought the comparison was fair because of their skin color. By that logic, we should assume limes and broccoli taste the same because they’re both green. It’s a stupid debate, but it’s resulted in a response from Larry Legend.
“I’ve always admired the guy,” Bird told Marc Stein. “He’s had a great run (in the playoffs), but I’ve always been very impressed with him. His work ethic, his loyalty to his country. It’s really an honor for me to have people compare us.”
Bird added that “I understand (the comparisons). I’ve always felt it’s an honor when they compare anyone to me, because I haven’t played ball for 20 years.”