Not unlike the way the Miami Heat have been covered all season, the NBA Finals coverage has focused as much on what is happening off the court, as what is actually happening on the court.
Maybe this is a reflection of the tabloid crazy society we live in, where people are more interested in celebrity than actual craft, maybe not; but this year’s NBA Finals has been covered in tabloid-like manner.
All series long the news has been inundated with stories about Mark Cuban, Dirk’s flu, Wade and LeBron’s mock sickness, and LeBron’s personal life; but there has been surprisingly little focus on what really matters—the game itself.
At a time when the product on the floor is the best it has been in years it makes absolutely no sense for the focus to be on these outside subplots. This series has featured performances of the ages by both Dirk Nowitzki and Dwayne Wade, players that could very likely be inducted into the Hall of Fame someday.
More importantly—the series is not over yet, and the coming games can only help to further cement this series as a classic, and possibly the best of the last ten years. The magnitude of these games may not be considered by the fans and the media; however it is something that has not been lost on the players actually playing in the series.
Dirk Nowitzki has worked his whole career for this point and isn’t about to let these outside issues distract him from his ultimate goal.
“So we’re one win away from my dream, what I’ve worked for half of my life. This is all I’m really worried about. This is all I’m focusing on.” Nowitzki affirmed after practice on Saturday. Likewise Terry’s focus is one hundred percent on Sunday night’s game.
“I’m ready for the moment. In a moment like this, the time is now and I’m ready.”
Miami Heat stars Dwayne Wade and LeBron James have been caught up in these kinds of stories all season long. Most recently they have found themselves at the center of controversy concerning what is perceived as mocking Dirk Nowitzki’s sickness during Game 4.
Although this is a relatively minor issue, it was written and talked about almost non-stop since the incident occurred, taking the spotlight off of a classic game in Game 5.
When questioned about the incident LeBron James responded in the way most people should have responded after hearing/reading about the incident.
“If you guys want to feed into everything that not only myself or D-Wade or the Miami Heat do, I think that’s a non-issue. There’s bigger issues in this series than that.”
As much as fans and people in the media try to make this series about outside issues and flimsy subplots the players know what this series is really about–and that’s basketball, specifically NBA championship basketball.
With the stakes this high all that matters is what happens between those lines, on the hardwood. Both teams have come very far, and at this point there couldn’t be more on the line for them. The drama that comes with this series will come from the players, and the intensity on the court—not any constructed subplots off of it.
If you want proof, Game 6 (and possibly 7) should be exactly what you are looking for.