I wonder if LeBron James learned Sunday night that you don't need three superstars to win an NBA championship.
While the two-time MVP complained after he left the Cleveland Cavaliers last July 8 that he didn't have enough talent around him to achieve that goal, the Dallas Mavericks pulled off that feat with a 105-95 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 6 to capture the title.
And the Mavs did it despite an off night by superstar Dirk Nowitzki, who had 11 points in the first three quarters and 10 in the fourth as the Mavs pulled away. Nowitzki hit 9 of 27 from the field, 1 of 12 in the first half. Jason Terry led Dallas with 27 points, 19 in the first half on 8 of 10 shooting.
While Nowitzki is one of the top players in the league, his supporting cast seemed only marginally better than what James had in Cleveland. Terry came up big in Games 5 and 6, but struggled the rest of the series. Point guard Jason Kidd, who is 38, scored little in the six games.
But Nowitzki and a bunch of players who know their roles and work together well denied James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, who manipulated the free agency system to join forces in Miami and won 72 games. But James is now 0 for 2 in the NBA Finals, getting swept by the San Antonio Spurs in 2006-07.
Game 6 had it all, a near-brawl in the first half and even a Heat player (Wade) dribbling the ball off his foot a la James in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals vs. Boston last year.
Northeast Ohio fans who turned against James after "The Decision'' have reason to celebrate. That dynasty of five, six, seven titles that James predicted for the Heat trio will have to wait. And with a looming NBA lockout that could be even nastier than what the NFL is experiencing, the wait may be longer than he bargained for.