Now that it is all over, basketball fans will look back at the 2011 NBA Finals and remember this as a colossal failure for the Miami Heat. I would rather look back at a fantastic run for the Dallas Mavericks and a well deserved title for the first time in franchise history. I loved two future Hall of Famers getting their first ever rings, all of their dramatic 4th quarter comebacks throughout the playoffs, and their outspoken owner staying quiet throughout the series. The Mavericks 3-point shooting was the difference in the last two games and unlike LeBron James, Duane Wade, and the rest of the Heat, Dallas hit every big 4th quarter shot. Dirk Nowitski deserved his NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award and guys like Kidd, Shawn Marion, Jason Terry, Tyson Chandler, JJ Berea, and DeShawn Stevenson were tremendous as supporting cast players. The best moment was when Mavs team owner Mark Cuban brought his club's original owner Donald Carter up to the podium to receive the championship trophy from NBA commissioner David Stern. That classy move is just another reason to love Cuban for what he has meant to this franchise.

As far as Miami, "all or nothing" is how many will measure these Heat teams every season. When you have 2 of the game's biggest superstars and a third player who would be the best on many other NBA rosters, finishing second is not acceptable. Some people believe Erik Spoelstra will lose his job because of the series loss to Dallas, but I think he will return as Heat head coach next season. I know some people will claim this loss will damage the future legacy for LeBron, Wade, and the rest of the Heat. I totally disagree. They are still the best team in the Eastern Conference and I expect them to return to the NBA Finals again next season. That is, if there is a season. Hopefully, Stern and the rest of the NBA are learning from the NFL, and will not make the same mistakes this off-season.

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