That’s it? That’s the showmanship that got the Mavericks so fired up that some Dallas bros specifically referred to this moment as the turning point in the game? Weak.
Here’s Tyson Chandler, via Eye On Basketball:
“He celebrated in front of our bench,” Tyson Chandler said. “I think it angered a lot of us. We came out there and responded.”
And here’s Jason Kidd, from ESPN:
“He followed through and left the hand up,” Mavericks guard Jason Kidd said of Wade’s 3-pointer that gave the Heat an 88-73 lead with 7:14 left. “The big thing was he made the shot and at that point we were down 15. For us, we had nothing to lose. We had to keep playing. Everybody who played tonight stayed together and encouraged one another to keep playing it out, and we found ourselves in the ballgame.”
And here’s more Chandler, from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:
“What’s all the music and the dancing and all that kind of stuff?” the Dallas center recalled thinking after his team fell behind 15 points with seven minutes left. “I looked up and said, ‘Is the game over?’ “
I will admit that a guy holding his hand in the air after making a shot against you is one of the most infuriating things that can happen on a basketball court, and that it is easy to find fault in a lot of things that LeBron James does, but this just feels like such a non-thing me. Not to mention, the majority of the Mavericks were already heading back to the bench for their timeout. Even Dirk Nowitzki said he “didn’t see it that much,” and it happened literally right next to him.
Whatever. If some of the Mavs were offended and that caused them to go on an epic run to close out an NBA Finals game, then that is good for them. To me, this is just a case of LeBron and Dwyane being LeBron and Dwyane. These guys have celebrations like this all the time. Most NBA players do. It’s not the worst thing in the world to be happy when you make a big play. Celebrate all you want. Just be prepared to be asked about it a million times later, if you happen to blow a 15-point lead in seven minutes.
(video via Ben Gollivster)