By Tre’ Smith
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer
No doubt, the Golden State Warriors’ meltdown is still fresh on everyone’s minds. While no other team ever blew it quite like Steph Curry and company, there have been some disappointing squads. In light of Dwyane Wade’s recent Instagram post, let’s reflect on him.
Often, the story of the 2006 Miami Heat is told and their underdog story is used to motivate. The other side of the spectrum is the Dallas Mavericks, an annual contender that always came up short. In actuality, the Mavs squad had been together much longer than the Heat.
Led by Dirk Nowitzki, the Dallas Mavericks spent close to two decades as one of the NBA’s worst teams, before Dirk arrived. The arrivals of both Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash, along with Mark Cuban as owner, changed the culture of the team. While Dallas soon became a good team, there were many great teams in their way.
Immediately, the Mavericks found themselves constantly defeated by the San Antonio Spurs, as they were in the midst of winning titles. By 2006, the Dallas Mavericks had a string of five disappointing playoff finishes and they came into this season looking to make changes. With Michael Finley gone, the Big Three was officially gone, there was a new coach in Avery Johnson, and Jason Terry assumed a bigger role on the squad.
The Mavericks finished tying their then-franchise best 60-22 record, but this was before the NBA changed their playoff seeding and they finished behind their division rival, Spurs. Because of this, they were the fourth seed in the West, behind the 44-38 Denver Nuggets, who finished third. In the second round of the playoffs, the Mavericks fell behind 3-1 to the Spurs, before coming back to defeat them in seven games.
Finally beating the San Antonio Spurs, unseating them as NBA champions in the process, the Dallas Mavericks were on the national radar. In the Conference Finals, they knocked out Steve Nash’s Phoenix Suns and seemed handed the championship when the Miami Heat somehow toppled the Detroit Pistons. It looked as if the Dallas Mavericks lucked up and would easily take the title.
Early on, the Dallas Mavericks looked like they would sweep to their first NBA title. Two words stopped this from happening, Dwyane Wade. While his performance is memorable and motivating, the Dallas Mavericks’ collapse is disappointing. This is especially true when thinking of the team’s history and their run through the playoffs, but they would win a title over the Heat in 2011.
Watch the highlights from Game 6 of the 2006 NBA Finals below:
Follow Tre’ Smith on Twitter @MicrowaveNC.