Sunday June 12, 2011 will be a day that goes down as one of the greatest days in Dallas history. It was on this day the Dallas Mavericks did the impossible and took down the might Miami Heat. The Heat were the team that was supposed to win the championship when LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade decided to join forces. The Mavericks, on the other hand, was a team full of misfits – players who couldn’t win on another team so they all wound up in Dallas. Dirk Nowtizki was also a free agent during the previous summer, but unlike Wade, Bosh and James decided to quietly re-sign with the Mavericks. He wasn’t looking for flamboyancy, but instead, he just wanted to win.
When the Mavericks made it to the NBA Finals, it was somewhat of a surprise. Dallas was a team that couldn’t get out of the first round the last several seasons and had blown a huge lead in Game 4 of the first round against the Portland Trail Blazers. When they got past Portland in six games, nobody thought they would take down the mighty Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant. Not only did they get past them, but they swept the Lakers. After taking down the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Conference Finals, the Mavericks were set for a rematch with Wade and the Heat.
In 2006, the Mavericks made their first Finals appearance and seemed poised to win the title after going up 2-0 in the series. What happened in Game 3, though, is something Mavs fans will never forget. Wade took over the game with 6:30 left in the fourth and Miami down by 13. The Heat would never look back as they won four straight games and captured the championship. This year, though, it was different. Nowitzki and Jason Terry were the only returning members from the ’06 squad.
For the next six games, Dirk proved to the world what everyone in Dallas already knew. The whole world watched as one superstar put his team on his back and carried them to a championship. Don’t get me wrong, there were lots of players who contributed to the success of the Mavericks in the 2011 Finals, but it was Dirk who put them on his back and willed them to a championship. On paper, the Heat were the better team and they had the bigger superstars. On the court, however, Dallas had the best player for six games.
Sunday June 12, 2011 will always be remembered as the day the Mavericks did the impossible and took down Goliath. It’s the day that helped erase some of the pain from the 2006 collapse, and it’s the day that Dirk became a legend in Dallas and Fort Worth.