Cleveland cannot lose in the NBA Finals, it’s impossible

I refuse to go through the emotions of losing an NBA Finals that my team isn’t even playing in.   This wasn’t always the case, but after the Bulls were eliminated by the Miami Heat I recognized the error in my application of fandom, and tapped out.

As the postseason began, I was certainly rooting for the Sixers to beat the Heat up some.  I never thought Philly had a chance to actually go the distance, but I just hoped they’d land enough shots to leave Miami vulnerable for the next round. 

Boston was waiting, and I was completely confident that the Celtics would be the Kelly Pavlik to Miami’s Jermain Taylor.

That didn’t happen though.  So I then begrudgedly shifted my temporary allegiance over to Chicago.  I didn’t believe D-Rose and the Bulls had a chance to eliminate Miami heading in, but I was desperate after Boston lost the one time I wanted them to win. 

I considered then that jumping off this rooting against another team train might be the best idea, and all of sudden Game One of the ECF happened.  

I convinced myself all over again that Miami was fatally flawed.  I was confident that the teamwork personified by Coach Thib’s crew would outlast any amount of individual talent on the other side.

Only that didn’t happen either, as we are all well aware.  The Heat were preparing for the NBA Finals, and I had a conversation with myself.  I suppose I do that far too often, but whatever.  The exchange went something like this:

“What are you doing to yourself?  This doesn’t make any sense.  Do you really care if Dallas wins the NBA Title?  You don’t even really like Dallas.  Sure Cuban’s cool, and Dirk’s pretty good for a German guy, and you always liked Jason Kidd, but do any of those guys even care about Cleveland?  And will it really help the fact that LeBron James left Cleveland if Miami loses the NBA Finals?  With Wade and LeBron, the Bostrich playing well, along with Haslem and Miller on the uptick heading into the Finals, do they even have a chance to lose one game let alone four?”

I settled on the answer of no, they had no chance to lose four of seven games to anybody.  I picked Miami in six.  I realized that as much as I don’t want to admit this, a team of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and any collection of Euroleage players would be pretty good.  Let alone the guys they have on their roster.  That was the consensus for me last summer, and I spent all season convincing myself otherwise.  Until last week that is.

Which is why on Thursday night, with seven minutes to go in the NBA Finals, I was almost pleased with myself in some bizarre, twisted way.  After winning Game One of the NBA Finals going away, the Heat were up fifteen with less than seven minutes to go.  Dwayne Wade was studio gangstering it up over in front of the Dallas bench after he drilled a three, LeBron looked annoyingly happy with himself, Bosh continued to look simply annoying, but none of that mattered to me anymore.  I was out, I didn’t care. 

In some ways, I thought maybe it would be better if he just won the title this season afterall.  Get it all over with.  Let him french kiss the trophy while laying on the floor crying, announce that he did this for Akron or whatever, and we can all just watch those proceedings and move the hell on.  No more negative energy, just go back to rooting for Cleveland teams again in a positive way.

But then the Heat completely collapsed, Dirk proved more clutch than any combination of LeBron and Wade, and the Mavericks finished with a 20-2 run to steal one down in Miami.  Birdman, DJ Khaled, and the thirty-four other fans Miami had down at the game were stunned.  It was awesome.

I was real tempted at that point.  I really enjoyed that melt-down, and I hoped that I would be as wrong as I often am when I predict the outcomes of games by the time this series was over.  I thought about getting all gassed up about Miami losing all over again.  But then I decided not too.

I’ll be happy if Dallas ends up winning this thing, as it shifts back now to the Texas for the next three, but I will be completely and absolutely indifferent if they don’t.  I swear.  I’m not giving anybody the satisfaction of knowing that I’m upset that they won the title.  

There’s a power in that I think, a strength to being indiffernt.  You can’t lose that way, no matter how things end up playing out.  Which makes sense in this case, because there’s no way can we really win either.

  • Andrew Koestel

    Well said, sir. Indifference is king

  • Gonzalo del Suelo

    There is no Cuban in Dallas’ team–Barea is Puerto Rican.

  • jake

    stupid article

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    I echo your sentiments. Feel the same way about the Mavs…not really for them, not really against them. I want them to win so we dont have to watch ESPN ride LeBron’s jock even harder for a whole year and hear the inevitable, “Oh, he was smart to leave. Cleveland sucked.” commentary.

  • JM

    I really don’t care. This was almost a perfect storm for us. The Indians are in first, the weather is nice, and there’s other things to do. I maybe watched 5 minutes of each game.

  • LittleWahoo

    Watching Lebron prematurely celebrate like he is entitled to a title and then get crushed in the final 5 minutes was fantastic. Count me solidly in the Cavs 4 Mavs category.

  • Shamrock

    Miami in six, unfortunately.

  • MrCleaveland

    Come on, guys, I’m not buying this. You DO care. And if Miami wins, it WILL bother you. You know it, I know it, and the American people know it.

    Nothing wrong with that.

  • The Other Tim

    It’s okay to admit that you want LeBron to lose. His winning vindicates his decision. A major tenet of Cleveland fandom is believing that what the rest of the world says about our teams is wrong. Don’t deny it. If he wins, then he was right.
    This is a guy who said he needed to “team up with guys who wouldn’t die down in the moment” and they did exactly that in game 2.
    I can’t even watch him anymore. I watched the Spelling Bee and then turned the game on in time to see Wade’s “game ending” three. Then I switched to a movie. Once the movie was over I switched back to see Dirk waiting to be interviewed with a crowd of white shirts filing out of the building. I was ecstatic.
    Thank God for ESPN’s Instant Classics.

  • Bob O’Brien

    “Birdman, DJ Khaled, and the thirty-four other fans Miami had down at the game were stunned.”

  • Tara

    I love this post. My boyfriend and I were just saying something similar to each other the other night when we watched Miami crumble at the end of game 2… admittedly after we both launched off our couches cheering when Dirk made the layup that scored the last two points that won it for Dallas. We agreed that no matter who wins the Finals, our lives won’t change one little bit. If Dallas wins, we’ll be happy for them and happy that Lebron didn’t get the satisfaction of crapping all over Cleveland only to be validated by winning a title the very next season. But then we’ll turn the channel to another show or go to bed and wake up the next morning not giving two shits about it because it really doesn’t affect us here in Cleveland at all. Sure, the annoying local news will beat that dead horse and interview some interesting Cleveland characters, but then it will be over and all of our lives will be the same.

  • Tara

    Oh but I would like to “no they didn’t” TNT for showing images of Lebron cradling the Finals trophy as if he’d already won. It made me want to vomit. This is the Nike puppets all over again. He everyone, Miami MAY lose. They probably won’t, but they might. I’d be pissed if I was a Dallas fan.

  • CleFanVA

    I absolutely want LeBron to lose. This year. Every year. But,I’m also not stupid enough to believe this will happen. So, I’m taking the next best approach. I’m not watching any of The Finals. Not one minute. I decided last week that the pleasure I would get from watching the Heat lose would be less than the pain I would feel watching them win. So, I’m just going to pretend there was no 2011 NBA Finals. They don’t exist to me.

  • Vengeful Pat

    I didn’t mean to do it, but I did it… got invested in this Heat/Mavs series and really want to see the Mavs win. Not just because I despise LeBron and despise the Heat for their cheating/colluding ways, but because I’d really love to see some of those old vets on the Mavs get a championship. Too bad Dirk is the only one playing like he expects to win.

  • Ann

    Cleveland is still butt hurt, lol.