Conversation is the focal point of sports. We endlessly strive for absolutes when none exist. We make lists and rankings. We compare. And ultimately we arrive at arbitrary, widely accepted conclusions that inform the conventional conscience. We saw that manifest itself in Dime’s 1-on-1 Tournament. When Dirk dealt those deathblows to Kobe and ‘Melo, many of you scoffed. Angrily. When D-Wade decimated LeBron and any semblance of self-respect he had in the reserve tanks, you shook your head. Dissapointedly. I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t surprised by these upsets too. But some knightly defenders of Dirk and Wade’s honor marched to the front of the battle line and fired their muskets right back.
Intelligent, well-thought out debate ensued (well, for the most part) in the comments section. I may write on this site, but I’m a commentor as well. I peruse more blogs and websites than I can count. When you put them all together, you get some mass cross-section of my tangential interests; other sports, of course, but some of the less worthy matters, too – movies, politics, history. That’s what this one-on-one tournament was. You had to set aside your five-on-five analytical mind and inherent bias.
Or maybe not. Maybe the magnetic emotional attraction that binds us to basketball led the way. Then again, who’s to say that one way ruled? Most of you probably went with an indefinable combination of the two. Or maybe I’m just talking out of my a**. Who knows. Regardless of your methods, your comments and votes presented your unique take. Often they clashed and battled with their 180-degree adversaries, but it made for great conversation and I’m glad that it happened. So thank you, kind Dime folks.
Anyway, let’s get this over with. But first the narrative of how your votes shaped the game.
D-Wade leapt out to an early lead with a layup, strip and pull-up jumper. The force was strong in this one. But I don’t need to remind you of Dirk’s resolve; he came back immediately by hitting an array of “you’ll never block this” fadeaways and “you had no idea I could take it to the rack” dunks. 4-2 was the score and it looked like these finals would have an anti-climactic finish. But the Dwyane Wade fans were having none of that. They stormed back, clicking their mouses and voting D-Wade back into the lead, barely. At 5-4, Dirk nailed two straight elbow jumpers to make it 6-5. From there, the basket trading began. Neither could stop the other’s bread and butter: Dwyane Wade with his “I refuse to finish with my left hand” Euro-stepping layups and Dirk with his patented rainbow fadeaway.
At 9-8 (Dirk leading), Dime commentor JAY’s precisely scientific sketch of Wade’s baby oil-lathered body slid past Dirk once again, but he blew the layup. That’s all that Dirk needed to pounce. Another jumper made it 10-8, and the NBA’s classic “I’m struggling for offense and slightly panicking so I’ll throw up an ill-advised, contested three” infected Wade’s mind. After gathering the rebound and clearing the ball, Dirk didn’t get fancy. Posting up Wade to protect the rock, he turned, rose (I guess “rose” is inappropriate when his vertical barely exceeds six inches) and fired. The swish sealed an 11-8 victory and another Dirk championship.
So congratulations again, Mr. Nowitzki. You have conquered the game’s best in basketball’s most brutally honest genre.
What do you think?
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