Rick Reilly has released his latest screed on ESPN.com and he has twenty reasons why you should root for the Dallas Mavericks. Well, it’s more like two reasons and some tangentially related references that didn’t fit in other columns, but who cares? Most of them are redundant. I’ve included some of the highlights below.
Dallas’ last chance for a title / Miami has lots more chances ( 3x)
Pull for Dallas to win these NBA Finals because Miami will get forklifts of rings someday. This might be Dallas’ last chance.
Pull for Dallas because James is so heaven-sent talented that he’ll get more than his share of rings before he’s done.
Pull for Dallas because Nowitzki is much closer to done than starting now.
This is one acceptable reason to root for Dallas. There are many other reasons, but these sentences consist of just one.
Jason Kidd’s last chance (2x)
Pull for Dallas because 38-year-old Jason Kidd deserves one, too, despite what he says. “I want this more for Dirk than for me,” says Kidd, who’s played in three decades — 17 years — in this league without champagne in his hair. “All the work Dirk’s put in, all the time. Man he deserves it more than anybody on this team. Plus, if he gets it, that means I get one too, right?”
Three decades! Guys on Miami’s roster who have played in three decades include: Eric Dampier, Juwan Howard, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Mike Bibby.
Pull for Dallas because Nowitzki stayed with his team, never took his talents anywhere but to the damn gym every day.
Pull for Dallas because Nowitzki has stuck it out through 13 seasons so far with this one team, stuck it out through all those depressing playoff springs, all those one-and-dones, all those words people called him — “loser” “choker” “soft” — stuck it out even when Steve Nash left, leaving Nowitzki with a lot of nobodies and some mops.
Pull for Dallas because Dirk Nowitzki deserves this title more than anybody else on the floor, more than LeBron James, more than Dwyane Wade.
This is apparently not up for discussion. Why, I’m not sure.
Pull for Dallas because Nowitzki has this crazy idea about trying to win one the old fashioned way, by getting better.
Pull for Dallas because it’s not about The Decision. It’s about one team taking the easy way to a title and another team taking a way that just keeps getting harder.
No work involved whatsoever for the Heat. I’m not sure Reilly is writing this column if the Mavs landed LeBron last summer.
Miscellaneous references (7x)
Pull for Dallas because it got screwed in the 2006 Finals worse than Bartman. To lose to the same team five years later would be tantamount to basketball waterboarding.
This is my favorite. Was Steve Bartman at the ’06 Finals? What does this have to do with anything?
Pull for Dallas because it has the best locker room in the NBA, not a whiner among them. There are more good guys in that room than in some divisions.
DeShawn Stevenson and Jason Kidd. Google them.
Pull for these Dallas Mavericks because the way things are going, the Dallas Cowboys may never win a title again.
Pull for Dallas because it’s clear they’re the underdogs in this, sort of the way a squirrel is the underdog vs. an owl. You knew that after Tuesday night’s Game 1, the way LeBron James was flying over people like Air Florida and Dwyane Wade was dazzling everybody else, the way he does in NBA Finals. You knew that the way they pulled away to that win in Game 1.
We’re just rambling now.