This week, all of Cleveland celebrated the victory of the Dallas Mavericks over the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. If you don't know why Clevelanders were so happy about this, then you must live under a rock. Even people who don't like sports are aware of the LeBron James Decision and what it has done to northeast Ohio. The media has made sure of that by ripping the scab off of our wounds daily/weekly for the past year so that we can't forget it.
I've been talking to friends in the Dallas area all throughout the playoffs, getting their spin on things, talking game strategy, and asking about the local media coverage. The Dallas newspapers and TV stations spent more time talking about the Heat than they did the Mavs. Their "hometown" coverage was all about LBJ, the Big 3, the Heat Dynasty, etc., etc. I believe this was a benefit to the Mavs because without the tight scrutiny, they were able to just keep their heads down and play their game. They let their on-court actions do their talking. They got the job done and took home the big prize.
However, there is one thing that has really upset Mavs fans - the after party. I found it strange to see all of the tweets and pictures on Twitter of Mark Cuban and the players having a ball at Miami Night clubs with rappers like Lil Wayne and hoisting up the Larry O'Brien Trophy for all to see. And I asked myself one question: why are you in Miami and not Dallas? It's a 2 hr 30 minute flight from Miami to Dallas. Why not just leave the arena, head to the air strip, and go home to party with your fans?
My friends in Dallas asked the same question. The night clubs all close at 2:00 am, but really, you don't think they could have stayed open a little longer for an event like this? Oh, I'm sure all of Dallas would have stayed up partying all night long to celebrate the first Championship in Mavericks history.
So I asked myself, "Self - why would they stay in Miami?" I've got two possible answers. First, because Miami is a sweet place to party. Let's face it, that is part of the reason LBJ went there in the first place. I'm sure Dallas knows how to throw a party - heck, I've been to a few myself - but I'm also sure it's not like a Miami party... Plenty of rappers, beautiful Latino women in skimpy clothes, the perfect place for a group of guys to cut loose and have a blast.
The second reason? I'm certain that the team does whatever Mark Cuban wants at a time like this and I have to think this was his personal slap at Miami... "Yeah, Miami, your citizens are going to party like crazy tonight, but it will be for MY team, not yours." I could not even imagine the opposing team in ANY sport winning a championship in Cleveland and then staying around to party with the people living here. They would quietly leave town and go party at home. As Cleveland sports fans, we are many things, but tolerant of the enemy we are not. The only pictures you would see on Twitter if this happened in Cleveland would be the mugshots of the residents that were arrested after the brawl was over.
With all of this in mind, I come to two very obvious conclusions... Miami Heat fans are not really sports fans. They are the pretty people that want to follow the front runners and celebrate with the rich and famous. They don't ever cry or bleed for their team. And Mark Cuban knows how to take jabs at someone in a much subtler way than Dan Gilbert. Perhaps Mr. Gilbert can take a few lessons from Mr. Cuban - one of them being you don't have to call someone out in the media or on twitter to make a point... you can just throw a two million dollar party in their backyard. That's the best way to shut someone up.