Leading the Suns was Amare Stoudamire, who cremated Erick Dampier with 40 points and 16 rebounds. Alleged NBA MVP Steve Nash had 11 points and 13 assists.
To the Mavericks credit, Avery Johnson's crew was not making excuses. From the DMN:
"I guess we thought we were on vacation," Johnson said. "It was 88 degrees and
sunny. We were in a resort mood, not a [conference] semifinal mood."
Lil' General has a day to get his troops into semifinal mood.
Miami folks can come up with better reasons than that.
Shaq was robbed of the MVP. There are plenty of good reasons why he should have won.
- He is still the most dominating force in the basketball, even at his advanced basketball age.
- He outscores Steve Nash and is better in several other offensive categories.
- Nash isn't even the best player on his own team and has a better supporting cast
Heck, there are many arguments you could use to argue Shaq should have won the MVP
Shaq defenders had plenty of ammunition to work with. They didn't need to inject race into the discussion the way Dan Le Batard did.
Of course it also didn't help Shaq's case that Fox Sports Radio overnight host Jorge Sedano, who is based in Miami and works for the Miami Heat's broadcast team, was interrupting and hanging up on Steve Nash defenders last night and labelling them all as racists.
You're talking about one of the closest MVP votes in history. That means plenty of white basketball media people thought Shaq was the best player in the league. Are they racist? And what about the African-American and other minority folks in the media who voted for Steve Nash? What do the Le Batards and Sedanos of the world make of them?
Besides, Steve Nash had a pretty good case for MVP himself since Phoenix went from lottery to #1 seed with him running the team. (It just wasn't as good as Shaq's case in my opinion)
Also, if Dan Le Batard wanted to make his article about American contemporary racism there are plenty of cases he could have used instead:
Racism is getting pulled over because you're a minority and drive a nice car because, in the mind of the officer, you're dealing drugs. Racism is a black ballplayer getting called a "good black kid" by a white baseball coach while said coach describes the rest of the community with a word that implies the rest of the community isn't inherently good. Racism is getting passed over for a bank loan because the loan officer thinks people with certain skin tones can't pay it back. Racism is getting dragged behind a pickup truck for miles because of your skin color. (Yes, that still happens, ask the people of Jasper for references)
Heck, there's even a good example of institutional racism in the sports world. Check the minority hiring rates for Division I-A football coaches.
Racism isn't losing an MVP vote.
Tomorrow: It all depends on how you define "official".