See, I toldja the Heat sucked. That and other revelations from the Mavs' Game 1 victory over Miami last night at American Airlines Center:Nothing says cool like glowing blue pom-poms. Made the American Airlines Center look more like a U2 concert instead of The NBA Finals.
After forcing our jeers upon Michael Finley and Steve Nash, isn't it nice to finally have a legitimate target to boo in Antoine Walker, a.k.a. Mr. "Volume Shooter"?
Raise your hand if you had Adrian Griffin in the "first player to score a basket in the NBA Finals" pool. Dude was out of job and lounging on his couch in Houston as late as Thanksgiving.
This is the NBA's biggest stage and the best we can trot out for the national anthem is Jack Ingram? Where's Kelly Clarkson when you finally need her? Or, just for kicks, Jessica Simpson? Even worse, I hear Sunday night's Game 2 anthem will be sung by American Idol finalist Elliott Yamin. That's "finalist," as in third-place finisher. What, we're not even deserving of Taylor Hicks? Or at least the hot chick?
Only thing more lame than the pre-game was the halftime, which featured a run-of-the-mill trampoline dunking troupe. Oh, yeah, and a fourth-quarter skit included dance solos by an old bald guy, the inflatable Mavs mascot, a dude with a trombone and a male stripper. Ever seen question marks over 20,000 heads?
Media from all over are in town. I happened to score a seat in the Far East section, where Asian journalists: giggled at a cartoon Godzilla skit; worked crossword puzzles during timeouts; and kept up with pitch-by-pitch updates of the Yankees-Red Sox game on their computers. Seriously.
People magazine had a reporter there to scour the celebs. She was very disappointed. Biggest name was blockubster producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Also on her league-issued must-see list was Dallas Cowboys tight end Anthony Fasano. Funny thing is, he was sitting next to a certain Cowboys tight end and perennial Pro Bowl star named Jason Witten, who somehow didn't make the list. Also in the house were Terrell Owens (wearing a Shaquille O'Neal jersey and a Mavs cap), Reggie Bush (wearing a Dirk Nowitzki jersey and a Los Angeles Dodgers cap) and Ross Perot Sr. (wearing a suit).
If I were a Heat fan (and I'm not), I'd be frustrated beyond words by Shaq's indifferent free-throw shooting. The bricklaying behemoth missed eight free throws in a Game 1 his team lost by 10. Tried to come up with a football correlation, and this is the best I could summon: Imagine Emmitt Smith as the Dallas Cowboys' best player--and kicker. And after every stinking one of his touchdown runs, he shanked the extra point.
After the final horn confetti rained down on the stands and court. I thought that stuff was reserved for championships, but let's face it, the series is over. Dirk and Josh Howard had horrible games and the Mavs still cruised by 10.
To top off the night, I'll be twice the drinking age next month, but let the record show I got carded at Hotel Zaza's Dragonfly. All in all, the first Finals game in Dallas history was a smashing success. Not worth waiting 26 years for, but fun nonetheless. --Richie Whitt