|Official Championship Shoot|
I can't explain the pride I felt at the end of Thursday evening, looking back on this week. A Mavs championship, a humble MVP, a celebratory parade with 200,000 attending with not one major incident, and all the while the players of that team dedicating every moment to their fans, thanking them for supporting and sticking with them. The unity between the team and the fans, and between the fans and each other, was palpable. We all won something this week, and it's my belief that the fans are as equally thankful to the team and the MVP as they are to us. Which is a beautiful, beautiful thing. Another reason why this win was so sweet.
In a conversation I had with another Mavs devotee, she said "Finally, the good guys won!" I just sat back for a second, nodding, and said, "You're right! That is what it feels like!" I think many fans feel like that about this win. For so long we've seen arrogance and pride reign in the NBA. With the Heat, we saw three juggernaut players thrown together: they had swag, they had talent, and two of them specifically were completely sure of themselves and let it be known. But in the end, it was the stoic, quiet, humble Dirk Nowitzki that got that MVP trophy. It was the Mavericks, with not a "big three" but a solid team effort (especially from the bench), that rose to meet the challenge in the finals. It was team work, it was humility, it was thirteen years of focus, experience, and desire that brought the Mavs to this sweet win. There are no short cuts. Dirk proved that, and it couldn't have been a better lesson for a team like this Miami Heat, with their "King" James, to learn.
I was lucky enough to be at the AAC Game 6 Watch Party with about 18,000 other fans the night we clenched the championship. It was amazing, to say the least! People started lining up outside the doors of the AAC as early as noon (I know this for a fact because a friend of mine from high school did it and that's how I got to be at the front of the line to enter. Don't worry, no one was angry behind him; all the fans were surprisingly cool with it, covered for me, even!)! It was a sold out event, which is crazy if you think about it, because we all really just bought tickets to sit around together watching TV.
As we left the building it was like entering a sea of people all headed for Victory Plaza. Ever so often someone random would come up and high-five us or shout "GO MAVS!" and so everyone around would whoop and holler. Also there were bits of "Let's go Mavs!" chanting throughout the crowd in different patches. We went from the AAC straight to an Academy to get some championship gear around 11:30, but the line wrapped around two buildings, so we went to Cafe Brazil where tons of other Mavs fans were. You couldn't drive a mile in Dallas without hearing honks and seeing waves from fellow fans! The overall feeling is kind of hard to describe, but here is a the video I took of the celebration!
The next morning I dragged myself out of bed around 8 AM. I knew that the boys were arriving from Miami at Love Field around 11:30, and I wanted to be among the fans that met them at the gate. Since I couldn't calm my mind once I got in bed, I had only slept about three hours or so. I was dragging, but nothing was going to keep me from doing this. I wanted to come through for my team like they had come through for me! At least that's how I viewed it. Justin and I picked up my mom and headed out there. There were thousands of fans! We had to park far away, it was hot, we were getting sunburned, but no one had a negative word to say. We found a place against the fence across from where the plane would land and the group standing with us immediately welcomed us in, and we made friends. I was so impressed with the overall attitude of Mavs fans through this entire ride. No one was pushy, rude, or otherwise.
|Here's Mark Cuban cheering after a picture.|
|Jason Kidd carrying that trophy!|
|My favorite Puerto Rican taking pictures of the fans!|
|That beautiful GERMAN!|
|That's my boyfriend, Tyson Chandler.|
|Jet put the trophy up to the fence so we could touch it!|
|Official image from parade Presentation|
This team pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps, won the old fashion way, with hard work, determination, loyalty, while supporting one another, and they did it with class and humility. Then, their fans mirrored that in the way they celebrated and responded to this epic event. I'm so proud to be a citizen of Dallas and to be a fan of the Mavericks.