Not Robbed This Time

A year ago on this blog, I started something of a mini-internet sensation with my allegation that the Dallas Mavericks were robbed of the NBA Championship by sorry officiating and the Oscar-worthy acting skills of Dwyane Wayde. You can read the original post here.

An amazing number of people still stumble on that blog post each month, even a year later now. That amazes me. An occasional visitor will still even leave an angry comment. That amazes me even more. And concerns me a little. Because I moved on a long time ago. I left my anger and “bitterness” behind. I embraced the possibility of a bright future.

And this year’s Mavericks did everything in their power to prove that they had forgotten about it too. They blazed an ember-hot trail through the NBA, finishing first in the division acclaimed by everyone to be the most difficult, and earning the number one seed in this year’s playoffs. I even wrote about it earlier this year, when they won sixteen in a row, and became the fastest sporting team to get to 51 wins within 56 games. (Not NBA team, but “professional sports team” Period. In other words: no sports team in the history of professional team sports has ever done this…)

Things were looking great for my Mavs.

But the playoffs ended for the Mavs last night. So after twelve or so hours to get over the shock, I feel the need to make one thing perfectly clear:

The Mavs Were Not Robbed This Time.

Not even close. Nobody, not even a “homer” like me, would be so bold as to claim otherwise.

No, this is much sadder and more pathetic story. The Mavs completely folded. They choked. They failed to fight back. They got off their game. They looked whipped and confused. Golden State played with heart, energy, and passion. Dallas played with….well, were they really playing?

Hear me when I say it: they deserved to lose.

If I’m going to allege that they were robbed last year, then I have to own up to a time when they completely crash and burn. And that’s exactly what they did this past week. They failed to play anywhere close to the level of the team I saw with my own eyes several times this year.

Here’s what folks are saying around town today:

— This team seems to have no guts.
— They seem to have some psychological issues with pressures of playoff basketball.
— The man who might still be named MVP of the league this year (irony, huh?) completely choked. He looked like Shawn Bradley out there.
— The bench, which everyone claimed as “the deepest in the NBA,” was no help at all. (Save, Stackhouse)
— And finally, they inexplicably got away from the game that got them all the way through this year, and allowed Golden State to play theirs.

That’s what folks are saying here today. And it’s hard to argue with any of that.

And so, now what do I do with myself? All of us around here assumed we’d be in these playoffs for a while. What do we do now?

I’ve already written about how I can’t love the Rangers anymore. It’s months from football season. And that didn’t end too well of us around here either. What’s a guy to do?

Sigh…

Well, just needed to say what needed to be said, so there will be no confusion whatsoever:

The Mavs didn’t deserve to win.

Nuff said.

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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