Two very distinct and important worlds collided on the night back in 2011 when the Dallas Mavericks won the NBA Championship.
To the best of my abilities, I’m going to recall the fateful night of June 12, 2011. If you’re a fan of the Dallas Mavericks, it is the single most important occurrence in franchise history: the day they toppled the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. For a star-crossed organization like the Mavs, that night exorcised every demon imaginable.
I missed every second of that game in real time.
Now, for some context, my two passions in life are sports and music. I have been obsessed with both since I can remember. When one isn’t going, the other takes its place. The reason this is important is because I had procured a ticket to see the band Rush several months prior to Dallas’s man-sized run through the NBA playoffs. Furthermore, the show that night was at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, so a three-hour road trip to the south was in order.
It didn’t even become apparent that there would be a conflict until the Mavericks tied the finals in Game 4 on June 7th. Funnily enough, the friend and fellow Rush nerd I went to the show with thought I was going to bail on her so I could stay behind for the game. But I was committed to the show and didn’t want to send her to Austin alone. Also, as much as I love the Mavericks, there was no way I was going to desert “The Holy Triumvirate” as the band is commonly known.
For further context, Rush is my favorite group of all time. Yes, I am The Rush Guy in any given gathering of people. All said and done, I got to see them eleven times between 1990-2015. To say I was obsessed with them is a massive understatement. Moreover, since their drummer, Neil Peart, succumbed to brain cancer back in January, that obsession has come to the forefront yet again. But that’s not necessarily the gist of this venture.
What ensued that night was a delicate balance of checking my phone while I tried to concentrate on the concert. Smart phones weren’t nearly as smart back then, but they were still effective enough. As the show progressed, I noticed that the Mavericks were winning after the first quarter. I wasn’t alone, either, as I took note of several others in the crowd checking their devices for updates.
The Mavs were also prevailing–albeit tenuously–at halftime. But holy smokes, they were up after the third quarter, too! So by the time my phone showed them winning the game and clinching the championship, word quickly circulated throughout the arena. The collective sense was that the party was only beginning.
True to form, I over-served myself at that concert. My friend, Ann, thankfully possessed enough wherewithal to hail us a cab back to our hotel. If I’m being honest, I don’t remember a whole lot of that short voyage. But once we got back to the room, I do recall gaining a cursory grasp of my senses and turning the TV on to watch post game proceedings. This lasted into the wee hours as various lagers and spirits continued to flow. The afterglow of a Rush concert and a Mavericks’ championship simply provided a buzz greater than any adult beverage could.
Turns out that I never even got a chance to watch Game 6 in its entirety until Fox Sports re-aired it in December of that year. I never gave anyone back home the directive to record the game at the time. I don’t know if it ever dawned on us, really.
The Mavericks were carrying around so much emotional baggage that we were all just kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop. But amazingly, it never did. My only regret was that I didn’t get to watch it in real time. But as I still maintain to this day, Mavs fans will always be able to bask in the glory of 2011.