21 June 2006

El Calor ha vencido (The Heat have won)

It is not my intencion to turn this into a sports blog, but I wanted to comment on the Heat win and post some interesting articles on the NBA Finals. I'm pleased with the result. I think the Maverick reaction to game 5 cost them. As I commented yesterday:

[Cuban] does a disservice to his team and sets a bad example- one where denying responsibility for your own failures is an acceptable reaction. I don't think it is acceptable, and I predict that Dallas will pay for it, tonight even.

Cuban did react appropriately to Miami's win last night. It could be that he learned his lesson. It could also be that he was busy thinking about how to prevent this from happening again. The Mavericks are a very strong, young team, and should contend next year as well. I should also remind you that I predicted a Heat win in 6 games before the series started.

  • SI.com's Kelly Dwyer has a nice recap on the season and a fitting tribute to Pat Riley, an old dog whose tricks finally came together completely after more than 10 years with the Heat. There's even a nice pic of Riley giving Wade a little peck on the cheek. Now that's love.
  • Alonzo Mourning's career will end on a high note, should he choose to retire. ESPN.com's John Hollinger looks a 'Zo's impact during the Finals. Considering his struggles with a serious kidney ailment, his contributions were outstanding.
  • Miami's win really was a team effort, and Dwyane Wade is the best player in the NBA. This article from ESPN.com highlights the team strategy that Riley concocted to motivate them. Here is a telling anecdote:

Riley once put a large bucket of ice water in front of him and told his team: "If you want to win a championship, you have to want it…"
Stopping in mid-sentence, Riley plunged his head into the water and kept it there for several seconds, which turned into a minute, which turned into even more than a minute. His players sat dumbfounded, watching, until Riley finally pulled his head out of the water and finished his sentence:
"…like it's your last breath."

Sounds like a good way to make a champion.

As always, you can check out ESPN.com and SI.com for more.

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