News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Given to Fly

June 17, 2006

Chuck Norris is not a concern, but Mavs have to stop Wade

Talking to my cousin Jonathan about his Dallas Mavericks — he’s lived in the Dallas area all his life — he was positive the Mavs would come away with Game’s 3 and 4 of the NBA Finals and sweep the Miami Heat.

We discussed the series during Game 2, an easy victory for the Mavs in Dallas. Of course, I had to disagree and pick the Heat in seven games, however, I’d much rather see Dallas win its first title.

But maybe the better story is Pat Riley going out on top and Dwayne Wade emerging as the face of the NBA. The Michael Jordan comparisons ESPN throws at us are premature. “Shorty,” as Stuart Scott dubbed him, has the skill and the will to get the Heat to its first title. I’m not sure Dallas’ leader Dirk Nowitzki has the competitive fire that Wade does.

And Wade answered the Jordan comparison well.

“There is only one Michael Jordan,” he said.

Jordan bought part ownership in the Charlotte Bobcats yesterday. That doesn’t get me all that excited.

How boring is the post-game analyst tandem of Paul Silas and B.J. Armstrong for ESPN? Let TNT broadcast the finals. The team of Magic Johnson, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley is much better.

MJ was asked by SLAM Magazine what the starting five of his era would be. Jordan gave the nod to Magic at the point, but couldn’t decide between Scottie and Larry Bird at the small forward. No bias there. Then Jordan names James Worthy his power forward, saying “Charles [Barkley] is going to be mad, but I’m a Carolina guy.”

Despite the fact he never won a title, I give that nod to Karl Malone and can’t argue with Hakeem Olajuwon as Jordan’s center.

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