Basketball fans in Cleveland, and even those who don’t care much for the game, let out a collective sigh of relief on Sunday night following the Mavericks win in the Finals over the Heat.
Many were calling the Mavericks the “Mavaliers”, with Dirk being the favorite player of many Cavs fans. However, it did not matter that the Mavericks won the title; it was all about the failure of LeBron James.
In all truth, the average Cleveland fan does not really care about the Mavericks. Throughout the course of the playoffs, they were fans of Philly, Boston, Chicago, and then finally Dallas. There are those who are fans of the game and wanted Dirk, Jason Terry, and Jason Kidd to win a title, but the majority just wanted LeBron to fail.
The Heat’s loss in the Finals is a victory for a fan of every team besides the Heat. Well, the Heat don’t actually have fans, as shown by the stands emptying before the conclusion of Sunday’s game. It seems like more people showed up for the little party thrown when LeBron and Bosh arrived in Miami, where it was declared that the Heat would possibly win seven titles.
But enough Heat “fan” bashing…suffice it to say, true fans of the NBA wanted the Heat to lose. A win by the Heat would have been a victory for the villain. It would proven right everything that is currently wrong with sports: stars teaming up with other stars to win. They did not succeed, but they were pretty close.
The difference in Cleveland was that it was not as much about the Heat’s failure as it was about LeBron’s failure. Cavs fans felt great when ESPN spent hours talking about how he couldn’t handle the pressure. After last year’s Game 5 against the Celtics, where he seemingly gave up, it seemed like deja vu for Cavs fans, only this time it was amusing. Every time he missed a shot, Cavs fans let out a cheer. I thought that if Dan Gilbert opened the Cavs arena for a Finals watch party, it would have been a packed house. That is how many people truly care about LeBron James failing in his pursuit of a title outside of Cleveland.
The hate for LeBron seems like it will be eternal in Cleveland, not only because of the infamous Decision, but because of his terrible statements that he makes to reporters. His recent comment on how people who want him to fail still have their personal problems just makes people want him to fail more. He is unknowingly making people hate him more. He has put his foot in his mouth numerous times and needs to stop. This could require not speaking in public, or even hiring someone to speak his thoughts for him.
The Big Three is under contract in Miami for five more seasons, which means at least five more years of Cleveland rooting for anyone who is against Miami in the playoffs. Cavs fans will quickly become Kobe’s biggest fans if it means LeBron not winning a title. For this summer, all Cleveland has to say is Alle hagel Dirk!