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NBA Dallas MavericksMiami Heat

Miami Heat vs. Dallas Mavericks: A Rivalry Lost

Dallas Mavericks

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Imagine if Manny Pacquiao makes a huge comeback, but never gets the chance to lace up his gloves and fight a legend like Floyd Mayweather.

After the pints of bad blood, failed attempts to make it work and steroid accusations — not one punch will come out of it. Sort of like the same way the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks had all of the potential in the world to be a marquee rivalry, then just fizzled out.

“The last two years, they’re champs and one year we were the eighth seed going into the playoffs and got swept,” Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki said. “And the next year we didn’t make the playoffs. So it’s kind of hard to have a rivalry if we’re not even a playoff team.” (the Dallas News)

But everything started so good. And there was hatred because of the way the 2006 NBA Finals played out.

The Heat felt disrespected because the Mavs were planning a parade after only being up in the series, 2-0. And the team for Dallas was angered because they felt like the referees showed Dwyane Wade favoritism as they came back to sweep the next four games.

Five years later, Mark Cuban’s boys pretty much ran over the newly formed Big Three after being down to 1-2 — sending Lebron James into an offseason of hiding and Chris Bosh crashing to his knees in a crying fit.

“But those two years are long gone,” Nowitzki said. “They’re the best team the last two years. We’ll see if we can compete with them and steal one.” (the Dallas News)

It seems as if 2014 has everyone looking at things very different. However there still may be hope for hostility after Mario ChalmersMMA elbow to Dirk’s throat earlier this season. Or we’re at least crossing our fingers for it.

Richard Nurse is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @blackirishpr or add him to your network on Google.