Tuesday, June 14, 2011

NBA NOTES -Title gives Dallas a reason to cheer

The Dallas Mavericks returned home in triumph Monday, cheered by hundreds of fans celebrating the franchise's first NBA title and the first professional championship of any type in the area in more than a decade. Owner Mark Cuban walked off the plane at Love Field carrying the championship trophy he was handed after Sunday's Game 6 win over the Miami Heat. Next came forward Dirk Nowitzki with hardware of his own: the NBA Finals MVP trophy that was awarded after he overcame a finger injury,
illness and smothering defense from the Heat to power fourth-quarter comeback wins. Cuban, the Dallas billionaire who bought the team in 2000, had the championship trophy in a seat next to him on the plane, and he apparently kept it close throughout the Sunday night celebration. "This will sound weird," he wrote on Twitter. "I'm laying in bed. With the trophy next (to) me." Cuban will keep the party going at least through Thursday morning, the date set for the team's victory parade through the streets of downtown Dallas. Cuban has said that he will pick up the tab for the city's parade costs. The championship is the first in the 31-year history of the Mavericks and the city's first since the Dallas Stars won the Stanley Cup in 1999. And it comes four months after the Super Bowl in suburban Arlington included not the hometown Cowboys but Green Bay and Pittsburgh along with a spate of bad weather. The Texas Rangers advanced to the last World Series, but lost to the Giants. Cho to Charlotte: The Bobcats have hired former Portland general manager Rich Cho for the same job and are promoting Rod Higgins to president of basketball operations. Cho, who was fired by the Trail Blazers three weeks ago, will assist Higgins and owner Michael Jordan in the operations of a franchise that has made the playoffs once in seven seasons. Cho became the NBA's first Asian American GM last year when he was hired away from Oklahoma City's front office. Newspaper's turnover: The Mavericks' win over the Heat is a huge upset for fans in Miami. Making matters worse, an ad in the local paper mistakenly congratulated the Heat on winning. A full-page ad that ran in Monday's Miami Herald reads "Congratulations Miami" next to photos of Heat championship T-shirts and hats from Macy's. The newspaper issued a correction and an apology, and a Macy's spokeswoman called it an unfortunate error.

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