At GQ.com: Congratulations, Mavericks. What does it all mean?
With last night’s win, the Mavs become the sixteenth NBA franchise, accounting for relocation, to win a title. It’s a select club, to be sure, but the Mavs aren’t the Lakers or Celtics, or Pistons, or the Rockets, or even the Hawks, who made the Finals four times between 1957 and 1961, and took it all in 1958. They are one of the seven teams with only one championship to their name. Franchises that have never hoisted the banner can still be perfectly respectable, and some fairly miserable teams have one seemingly random title to their name. The real question to ask, then, is what kind of championship was this, anyway?
This transmission marks the end of my GQ playoffs blog. It’s been real.
Two Links To Things I Wrote For Today
1. The last GQ.com NBA Playoffs Kibitz with David Roth. There will likely be one more, but Roth won’t be here for it. So consider this half of me, or us, saying goodbye. That explains the tone:
Shoals: You are a kind and decent person who understands the instructive value of sports. I root for the devil, both because he is the devil but because he has the best laser shows and most impressive collection of severed heads. Am I weak and ugly and looking to over-compensate? So what if sports are aspirational. I don’t want to relate to things.
That was the end. Click to see how we got to there.
2. The latest “Three Seconds” at SportsFeat, dealing with corruption and evil and how hard it is to really break through and change the world:
There is no dark side, only varying degrees of risk. To say otherwise is to pretend that “dirty” isn’t relative, or that—again, returning to PEDs—going too far isn’t the greatest sin imaginable. To say otherwise ignores how much money, and what kind of egos, exist at the tip-top of college football or international soccer. Business is dirty. Why would the backrooms of sports be any different? Anecdotally, we acknowledge this. Yet the unspoken double-standard, and feigned shock at high-level scandal, sticks with us out of some combination of hope and fear.
I hope that keeps you from sleeping, or otherwise feelings good about yourself.