By Daniel I. Dorfman–
CHICAGO (WSCR) I had no idea June 13th was a national holiday. I thought the calendar was bereft of celebrations between Memorial Day and July 4th. But it seems all of America is honoring this day, or at least all of America outside of South Beach.
It was easy to root for Dallas in these NBA Finals. It has been a while since there has been a team so despised as Miami and the way they lost by blowing opportunity and opportunity in the late stages of almost every game made their comeuppance that much more delightful. Seeing Chris Bosh barely being able to walk to the locker room last night after the loss to Dallas probably was the dessert to some people who thought of the Heat losing as a free meal at a five star restaurant.
Perhaps I am just being naïve, but the vindictiveness in talking about the Heat loss this morning was striking. I guess it should have been expected by Dan Gilbert, the Cavaliers owner who Tweeted a shot at LeBron James saying “Old Lesson for all: There are NO SHORTCUTS. NONE.” Gilbert made himself look petty last year when James signed with Miami when he went ballistic in his comments about James. I doubt Hillary Rodham Clinton will be giving him any prizes for diplomacy after what he did last night.
Gilbert aside, the overall pitchfork mentality to dance on the grave of the Heat is really astounding. Not just by talk show hosts or bloggers, but even in what used to be known as the mainstream press: pictures of James showing him angry as a pit bull, links to LeBron jokes. Perhaps the next step will be a victory parade for the Mavericks, not just in Dallas, but every town in America.
Yes, it was nice to see the Heat go down, but there should be some perspective to what happened last night. The reason this group was so hated was their “Hollywood as Hell” behavior in the words of Joakim Noah. They were immature, arrogant, and displayed little or no sportsmanship. So now on this morning they are feeling everyone’s wrath and yet it feels as if people are just sinking to their level.
Is this saying James, Wade and Bosh are now sympathetic figures? Of course not. James and Dwyane Wade were defiant once again in their post-game press conference only adding to the dislike that we have all felt about this team.
Yet at the end of the day, the fact is Miami lost one series. Whenever the NBA resumes, they should be young enough to contend – possibly even dominate – for several more seasons. They need to make some tweaks to their roster, but like him or not, Pat Riley knows what he is doing. His fingers aren’t full of championship rings by accident and no one should be taken aback if James, Wade and Bosh are hoisting the Larry O’ Brien trophy in the not too distant future.
So if everyone wants to celebrate the demise of the Heat this morning, it is understandable. But just remember this is not the end of an Evil Empire, it just might be a bump in the road.
Do you agree with Daniel? Post your comments below.
Daniel I. Dorfman is a local freelance writer who has written and reported for the New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer and the Boston Globe among many other nationally prominent broadcast, online and print media organizations. He is also a researcher for 670 The Score. You can follow him on Twitter @DanDorfman To read more of Daniel’s blogs click here.