The Dallas Mavericks just won their first championship in franchise history Sunday, which means that teams from the state of Texas have won seven of the last 18 NBA championships and have only lost one NBA Finals series in that time – the Mavs loss to Miami in 2006.
The question is how Houston Rockets fans should feel about this. Rockets fans don’t like the Mavericks, particularly after the hotly-contested, headline-grabbing 2005 first round playoff series, and generally speaking, Houston fans can’t stand anything Dallas, particularly one franchise (starts with a “cow” and ends with a “boys”). Not only can Metroplex sports fans point to the Cowboys and their successes, but now the Mavericks have a championship in the one sport with heavy bragging rights for Houston.
And yet others may be thrilled. For one, LeBron James has turned off many fans with his perceived arrogance and many are happy to see him fail. Some people love and root for anything Texas and others are happy for a particular player such as Dirk Nowitzki. Others may relate to the relief the Mavs and their fans felt when they hoisted the O’Brien Trophy for the first time ever, just as the Rockets did.
In fact, that’s exactly how Houston fans should take this moment. It’s easy to be petty and jealous, especially because of the hard luck the Rockets have had since last contending in the late 1990s. But after all the disappointments – both for the Rockets and other Houston sports teams – how great did it feel for a team from Houston to finally get over the hump? Mavericks fans are experiencing joy right now for a franchise that was worse than the Clippers in the ’90s (yes, that is possible), suffered a devastating setback in the 2006 Finals and watched their team go down in the first round in 2007 to the Warriors.
Would Houston fans want fans from other cities trying to denigrate the accomplishments of teams from around here? Hasn’t the city taken enough grief from sports fans, loudmouth TV commentators and former star players who shall remain nameless about the Rockets titles in the mid-1990s being somehow unearned despite winning it all?
Instead of being upset at the Mavs, considered a rival by some, Houston fans should empathize and tip their cap to the Mavericks and the city of Dallas for finally getting over the hump.