Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Creating a Lasting Legacy

Right off the bat I need to start by saying that this has been an incredible NBA post season thus-far. Every round has offered its own flavor of off the walls excitement and corny soap opera type drama. And after all the scuffling and chaos finally two teams have emerged above the rest as title contenders. In on corner we have the Dallas Mavericks, a veteran bunch whose offense runs through post-season MVP, Dirk Nowitzki. Then in the other corner we have the villains, the front-runners, the NBA's version of Two and a Half Men, or as you might know them the Miami Heat. This is a team created last off-season that will wow you with their mix of athleticism and determination. One team is young, one team is old. One team is deep, one team is shallow. One team came together last off-season, one team has been years in the making. Which team will win? And maybe more importantly; how will this series shape the legacies of two superstars, LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki.

The impact on the career this series will have of these two athletes might be bigger than the series itself because of the rare historical significance of these future Hall of Famers. For Dirk it would be the cherry on top of what has been a sensational, all time great, career. Say what you want about him being 'soft' (complete bs) or his funky ways of scoring (the man is a magician out there) his 23 and 8 career average make him potentially one of the greatest scoring big men of all time.  He's come so close and been snake bitten so many times before that this series would put an end to any doubt that he can get it done when it matters most. This is a make or break series for Dirk.

Oh yes, then we have LeBron. Can you here the haters now? "LeBron doesn't have the clutch gene!" "LeBum can't win it all!" "LeB**ch will never be Jordan!" (By the way, is this really a fair criticism? I mean, who ever will be Jordan?) "DELONTE WEST SLEPT WITH LEBRON'S MOM!" (Once again, probably not a fair criticism and extremely inappropriate but wildly funny and will never get old.) The point is that if LeBron doesn't win a title this year people will continue to question if he ever will, if he ever can.. Fair or not the criticism WILL come. And eventually, perception can become reality. If LeBron wins he potentially becomes a top 5 all time player (and according to Scottie Pippen maybe better) and the rest of the NBA is in a buttload of trouble for the next 5 to 10 years. (remember, the Heat WILL get better) No way of denying it, this is a big time opportunity for LeBron.

The best part of this series is that in 20 years when me and my son are sitting watching some sports and he asks me about LeBron or Dirk, I'll tell him about this series. No matter the outcome, this will be a series we talk about when defining the legacies of all time greats. And by the way, I haven't even mentioned Jason Kidd or Dwyane Wade until this point, both guys who will be in the Hall and will have their respective legacies impacted by this series. (Ok fine, and alien/dinosaur love baby Chris Bosh too.) So if you're a true NBA fan, sit down, grab some snacks, and watch this series because I promise you this; you'll be talking about this series for the rest of your lives. Enjoy the series and good luck to both squads because God knows, there is a hell of a lot at stake. And by the way, I'm taking the Mavs in 6. (Dirk will continue to be Dirk and the Heat won't be able to keep up with the performances of role players like Barrea and Chandler.)

Class Dismissed,
The Sports Undergrad


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