Congresswomen Wage Bets On Who Will Win NBA Finals

Originally published on June 8, 2011 3:30 pm
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MICHEL MARTIN, host: Switching gears now. If you're a regular listener to this program, you know that on Fridays we bring you Backtalk. Today, though, we decided it was time for trash talk. Now, even if you don't follow basketball, you have to be impressed with the National Basketball Association championship finals. The series between the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat is now tied at two games each. And each of the last three games has come down to the very last shot at the very last second.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: James back to Wade. Wade puts it up for the win. Off the mark and Dallas has tied the finals with one of the most incredible comebacks in NBA finals history. Nowitzki spins. Head fake, falling away. Won't go and Miami holds on and takes game three. Wade lost the ball, throws to the backcourt gets it to Miller. Miller puts it up - air ball. And that's it. The Mavericks have evened the series. What a game and what a series.

MARTIN: Now to the trash talk part. One fan of the Mavericks and one fan of the Heat have a particular interest in the outcome of the seven game series. Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson hails from Dallas. She's with us on the line from there. And Representative Frederica Wilson hails from South Florida. She's with us from there. Welcome to you both. Thank you both so much for joining us.

Representative FREDERICA WILSON: Oh, thank you, Michel.

Representative EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON: Well, thank you very much.

MARTIN: So I understand that you two have a wager. Congresswoman Johnson, we've got the bragging rights for today.

JOHNSON: Well, yes, and, you know, Texas barbecue is not matched by any other barbecue in the nation. Perhaps even in the world. And so that's what I was encouraged to offer by my staff because they too enjoy it. However, this might not be an occasion when we'll need it.

MARTIN: OK. So, the deal is that - how does it work now if the Heat win, you have to provide barbecue too.


MARTIN: And then if the Mavericks win, Congresswoman Wilson, what's up with you? What are you going to ante up with?

WILSON: We ante up stone crab.

MARTIN: Stone crabs.

WILSON: Yes, from Miami.

JOHNSON: I look forward to that stone crab, too.


WILSON: Delicious. Stone crabs. But, however, we're going to need those stone crabs on ice for now because I don't think we'll be needing them. We're preparing the table for the barbecue because Eddie Bernice and I are sorority sisters. We're (unintelligible) sisters. And we're friends. But, sorry, we will win - the Heat is blazing out there and Dallas says it'll be blazing here in Miami.

MARTIN: Now, Congresswoman Wilson, your team includes three of the best players in the league now. You know this is true. A very expensive trio: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. But you know that there are some who are hating on them. You know this of course. Does this cause you any anguish at all?

WILSON: Well, you know, when you're good like that you get jealous. You know, people become jealous of you. So that's not going to stop them from winning. We've invested a lot of money in them and they have a great fan base here in Miami. I mean even they're not playing here, but, you know, the stadium is still full. The arena is full and people are watching it on big screens. They go in free and they still pretend that the game is here. So that's not going to be a problem.

MARTIN: So you're brushing off the haters. OK. Congresswoman Johnson, what about you. Tell me about your - brag on your team a little. Why do you think they're going to take it?

JOHNSON: Well, first of all, we have a team. We don't have just three people. We have a team and they play well together. When our best player in many circumstances, Dirk, had the flu last night and he had a broken finger that he broke back in the first game, but we won. We won because the team rallied and the players like each other. Although there are some who stand out, we have a team. And I think that's in the final results of it is going to be the team that wins and not three high players - high paid players.

MARTIN: Oh, I see, so you went there. She went there.


WILSON: Well, you know what? They're both good teams, but only one great team will win. And that great team is the Miami Heat. So Eddie Bernice, get ready to bring the barbecue we can eat heartily.


MARTIN: All right. Well, I'm glad I have you all in two separate cities now.

JOHNSON: But the stone crabs will taste very good in this hot weather.


MARTIN: All right, what's the outcome for game five? Game five's coming up.

WILSON: That's the Heat's game.

MARTIN: OK. Congresswoman Johnson, game five's coming up.

JOHNSON: Well, now, left up to my good friend, all games are Heat games. So we're going to luck - we might luck out again like we did last night and like we did Thursday night.

WILSON: Michel, I rib her all day on the floor. And I have my following and she has her following. But I have more Heat fans on the floor of Congress than Eddie Bernice has. So we'll see.


JOHNSON: She's right because there are very few other people in Dallas but me. But we do have some.

MARTIN: All right, well, good luck to you both. I'm staying out of this one. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson is a Democrat. She represents Texas's 30th Congressional District based in Dallas. She was nice enough to join us from her home office in Dallas. Congresswoman Frederica Wilson is also a Democrat. She represents Florida's 17th Congressional District and she was nice enough to join us from her home office in Miami, Florida. Representatives, thank you so much for joining us.

WILSON: Oh, thank you, Michel.

JOHNSON: Well, thank you so much. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.