DALLAS — Everyone has been shooting off the wrong legacy, you might say, in this 2011 NBA Finals.
So much attention has been heaped on Miami Heat forward LeBron James since his team took the Eastern Conference finals two weeks ago: Will James finally get his ring? Will “The Decision” that led to all the derision pay off so swiftly? Is he up to the moment? What was with Game 4 the other night or, for that matter, fourth quarters in general? And always, how will Cleveland feel about all this?
Meanwhile, Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki, with little of James’ LeDrama and apparently none of his Madison Avenue marketing sizzle, plugs along in a half-speed, George Gervin-way toward a breakthrough in his own legacy.
He may, in fact, already have achieved it with his performances and other work in carrying Dallas to the brink of its first NBA title. ABC/ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy riffed during Dallas’ 112-103 Game 5 victory Thursday night at American Airlines Center that Nowitzki had become a household name around the globe, achieving — as “Dirk” — the lofty one-name status among basketball fans that Michael, Magic, Kareem, Wilt, Kobe, Elgin, Shaq and a few more enjoyed at various times. Y’know, the NBA’s equivalent of Elvis, Cher, Prince, Snoop and Ozzy
Sealing the deal, though, by helping the Mavericks win one more game in this best-of-seven championship series would kick Nowitzki’s profile higher still. Much higher. Now Its all Over. Dallas WINS!!!
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