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Joy in LeBron's loss? No, sadness at Cleveland's loss

I thought I'd be elated that LeBron James and the Miami Heat lost in the NBA Finals Sunday night.

In fact, I expected I'd be jumping for joy.

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Instead, there's just sadness.

I'm sad because the Cleveland Cavaliers could some day be celebrating like the Dallas Mavericks and Dirk Nowitzki. Nowitzki is a guy who spent his career in Dallas, could have taken his talents elsewhere, but decided to stay and win a championship.

And he did, thanks to LeBron and his two running mates, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. They commanded all the attention, all the shots and ultimately, all the blame.

Rick Carlisle, coach of the Mavericks, pointed out after the game that it's a team game:

"It wasn't about our high-flying star power," Carlisle said in a column by Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. "Come on, how often do we have to hear about the LeBron James Reality Show? When are people going to talk about the purity of the game and what these guys accomplished?"

I really don't doubt that the Heat will win an NBA title with The Big Three. They came too close this year, and they will only get better as they learn to play with each other and they learn not to depend on James in the fourth quarter. He will continually come up small. So plan for it, run pick-and-rolls with Wade and Bosh, and the Heat will be fine.

As I pointed out in a previous Toy Department post, James lets you down time and time again.

A championship still might happen in Cleveland because I believe Dan Gilbert is as committed to bringing a championship there as Mark Cuban was in Dallas. It could be Kyrie Irving or another stud draft pick hoisting the trophy in Cleveland.

But I really wanted it to be LeBron.

Sun-Sentinel photo of LeBron James by Robert Duyos / June 12, 2011

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