Friday, June 15, 2012

Dear OKC, Beware of South Beach

The 2006 NBA Finals is one of those few events that I have avoided discussing in detail for the last 6 years. I considered the 2006 playoff run of the Dallas Mavericks to be one of the most exciting times of my sports life, but then the 8 days from Game 3 to Game 6 brought about the most depressing days of my sports life. The next week was a blur. I sat for days trying to figure out how in the heck did it come to this. They were so focused, so poised, so great in games 1 and 2. What happened?
......Then I took a trip to South Beach and had an epiphany. I had figured it out. The Mavericks were consumed by the topless tanning, thongs and night life taking place on South Beach. There was no way that a group of young men could compose themselves in such an atmosphere. I frequently saw many of the players out on the town here in Dallas and they always seemed to be having the time of their life so I knew that they were probably…no…they were on South Beach acting like a group of sheltered children who had finally been let out to play. Josh Howard, Marquis Daniels, Jason Terry, and Devin Harris were (are) all party boys. There was no way they weren’t going to indulge in ALL that South Beach had to offer them. Coach Avery Johnson was so upset with how the team played in game 4 that he had the team pack its bags and move from their downtown hotel in Miami to a hotel in Fort Lauderdale. He figured his players were having too much fun soaking up the appeal & temptation of South Beach and weren't focused enough on the business of basketball. Johnson made them eat, drink and sleep at their Fort Lauderdale hotel and not leave the property. If he knew Miami like I know Miami…that would have been his move before game 4. It was too late….they had already been bit by the South Beach bug and there is no coming back from that.
That brings me to my fair warning to the kidos of OKC Thunder. The Thunder are a lot younger than those 2006 Mavericks were. They are about to spend the next 7 days in a city that is nothing like where they spend most of their year….in OKC. Bricktown doesn’t have anything on South Beach! I see some maturity on the court from Durant. I can probably trust that he will stay focused. Plus Mama Durant looks like she don't play that. However, South Beach does not discriminate. It will take the most laid back guy on the team and bring out a side of him that even his teammates didn’t know he had. James Harden is dating female rapper Trina…who is a hottie from Miami. I’m sure she has some friends lined up to cop them an NBA star. Parties will be popping. Lil Wayne will have one (inspite of how OKC has treated him), then Uncle Luke, Trina will take them to King of Diamonds and OKC will official lose its mind!
Is this wishful thinking on my behalf? Am I hoping that OKC is consumed and distracted by all the beautiful women, the delicious food, the parties, the beach? Yes, somewhatJ
My advice to Scott Brooks is this….take a page out of Avery Johnson’s book but do it today. I know they’re adults and no one should be telling them what to do, but this is business. They have a boss and their boss is going to have to pull on the reins if he wants his young guns to have a chance to leave South Beach with another game left to play in OKC.

You have been warned!
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