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Dirk finally gets his title while LeBron still getting heat

HOWIE EVANS AmNews Sports Editor | 7/20/2011, 8:14 p.m.

It took the Dallas Mavericks 31 years to win their first-ever NBA championship--the franchise was granted NBA membership in 1980. Along the way, they suffered painful growing pains, including missing trips to the NBA Finals because the San Antonio Spurs with David Robinson, Tim Duncan and company always ended their journey.

However, the years of frustration finally ended in Miami when they beat the Heat 105-95 in six hard-fought games.

For Dirk Nowitzki--the face of the franchise, the league's 2007 MVP, the 10-time All-Star, 11-time All-NBA--the frustration finally ended when he was named NBA Finals MVP in the 13th year of his NBA career at 33 years of age. It should be noted that in a sport dominated by Black players, Nowitzki is the first white player to win MVP honors since Boston's Larry Bird in 1986. Bird was also the NBA Finals MVP in 1984. LeBron James, ending his eighth NBA season, which concluded with a bitter and disappointing loss, at the age of 27, has a long ways to go too catch Nowitzski.

The long NBA season ended in Miami where it all began when LeBron announced he was exercising his contractual rights as a free agent to sign on with the Miami Heat. From that moment in time on ESPN to the first media conference in Miami, the Heat's first game, first trips to arenas around the country and his first return to Cleveland, this young man's life has been a nightmare. As we noted, and will continue to note, LeBron would have still been in Cleveland had the owner, Dan Gilbert, came out of his Quicken Loans Company pockets to surround him with talent. Go back and check the Cavaliers roster of this past season and one can see that James was a one-man show with no hope of ever winning a title in Cleveland. On Twitter, Gilbert wrote a note to Dallas owner Mark Cuban congratulating him: "Congrats to Mark C. & entire Mavs org. Mavs NEVER stopped & now entire franchise gets rings."

Remember, NBA Commissioner David Stern fined Gilbert six figures for his tasteless remarks directed at LeBron after he signed with Miami. Too bad the commissioner can't fine the hundreds of media members around the country who gleefully continue to lash out at James and couldn't cloak their happiness over the Miami loss.