Mavericks Cool Heat Down, Win NBA Championship

Jun 13, 2011
Originally published on June 13, 2011 5:24 am
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STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

NPR's Mike Pesca was there.

MIKE PESCA: The winner was the team that went on sustained scoring bursts, hit huge three pointers, and played shockingly good defense against supremely skilled players. The Mavericks were better in these six games. No need to see it as more than that. Only Mavs coach Rick Carlisle wouldn't mind if the victory were seen as more than that.

RICK CARLISLE: They have made a statement that's a colossal statement. You know, not just about our team but just about the game in general. Playing it a certain way. Playing collectively. Our team's not about individual ability. It's about collective will, collective grit, collective guts.

PESCA: Whether Carlisle was meaning to cite these virtues as in contrast to the talents of the vanquished heat, many will hear it that way. This has been a trope of the series - team versus individuals. The media pounded the theme, and Mavs players, like guard J.J. Barea certainly bought in.

BAREA: They're a great team, they're great players, but this is a team game and I think we proved it.

PESCA: After this game, in which James had 21, Heat forward Udonis Haslem defended his teammate from the charge of passivity.

UDONIS HASLEM: I think a lot of it's been unfair. People have been looking to go at him ever since he came to Miami, so every little thing has been magnified and blown up. One thing you can't take away from him is he's the best player in the NBA, hands down. Say what you want to say. And all the people that complain wish he was on their team.

PESCA: James was polite.

LEBRON JAMES: I'm not going to hang my head low.

PESCA: Unrevealing.

JAMES: You can never hang your head low.

PESCA: And ultimately enigmatic.

JAMES: We have nothing to hang our heads low.

PESCA: Mike Pesca, NPR News, Miami. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.