Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Why Miami Won the NBA Title

Tuesday night the Miami Heat held off the Dallas Mavericks 95-92 in Game 6 to capture the NBA championship. After squandering a 2-0 series lead, the Mavericks are left to ponder what might have been. Meanwhile, Finals MVP Dwyane Wade has entered a rarefied air, while Shaquille O’Neal and Pat Riley have earned another ring. The following reasons explain why South Florida is celebrating today.

Carolina Hurricanes. With one destructive weather pattern winning a title this week, the Heat was bound to follow suit.

Florida Marlins. The baseball club is on a surprising nine-game winning streak. The Heat had to keep winning to have any hope of maintaining local sports fans’ interest.

L.A. sports talk radio. Sure, the Dodgers are in contention, but Angelenos would prefer yet another opportunity to analyze the breakup of Shaq and Kobe.

Uphill fight for Howards. Ryan Howard drove in seven runs Tuesday night, yet the Phillies still lost to the Yankees. So why would 14 points and 12 rebounds be enough for Josh Howard?

German sports fans. With all their energy focused on the World Cup, they had no positive energy to send across the Atlantic to Dirk Nowitzki. You can’t get all your inspiration from David Hasselhoff.

Master of Champions. If the series had gone seven games, you’d have to wait beyond Thursday to see the blind-folded foot archery display on ABC. America needs its bizarre reality shows NOW!

Alonzo Mourning’s legacy. It’s just inconceivable that a longtime center from Georgetown could end his NBA career without a championship.

1992 NBA draft. Shaq and Mourning were the top two selections that year. So next season, the team that unites Chris Webber and Shawn Bradley – 1 & 2 in 1993 – will win the title.

Terrell Owens. T.O. had nothing to do with the Mavericks’ loss, but Dallas sports fans might as well get used to focusing their wrath on him.

CBS Lineup. Dallas is long gone, but CSI: Miami is on fire. As Riley does with Gary Payton, the CSI techs put Gloves to good use.

Florida hoops glory. On the heels of the Gators’ NCAA championship, the Heat made it a college/pro sweep for the Sunshine State. With basketball such a force, you have to wonder if football will ever catch on in Florida.

Stan Van Gundy. The former Heat coach misplaced his Pat Riley voodoo doll over the last four games.

3-Pointers are for suckers. The Heat was 2-18 from long range in game 6. Reggie Miller retired before this season because he knew that 3-pointers were no longer important.

Ownership. Heat owner Micky Arison is #94 on Forbes magazine’s list of the “World’s Richest People.” Mark Cuban, at #428, simply did not have the resources to compete.

2003 NBA draft. With a championship ring of his own, Wade can finally stop being jealous of Darko Milicic.

The NBA’s attention now turns to next week’s draft. That event brings a phrase you won’t soon hear again: “The Toronto Raptors are in the spotlight.”