Here is the much-discussed "celebration" that LeBron James and Dwyane Wade engaged in that supposedly fired up the Dallas Mavericks and caused them to rally from a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit in Game 2 of the NBA Finals. It was a play that Tyson Chandler, Jason Terry and Jason Kidd all resented, with Chandler going as far to say that it "angered" the Mavericks. This means that everyone writing about this game has a built-in narrative that will be happily consumed by the masses thanks to all the Heat hate.
But let's step back for a second. Really, Dallas Mavericks? That's the celebration that you say inspired you? Weak sauce.
As Holly MacKenzie pointed out: if that's your standard for a celebration, then Miami should be inspired every time DeShawn Stevenson does anything. If you watch the video, the only player on the Mavericks who is even responding to Wade holding his follow through is Terry, which is ironic in and of itself considering Terry's antics when he hits big shots. As for Chandler, you can't even really see him in the picture anyway.
Wade and James didn't seem to think it was a big deal either. Via Dan Wetzel of Yahoo!
"It was no celebration at all," James said, unwilling to acknowledge the comments pouring out of the Mavericks' locker room. "I was excited about the fact that [Wade] hit a big shot, and we went up 15. The same thing we've done over the course of the season. There was no celebration at all. We knew we had seven minutes to go still to close out the game."
"There was no celebration," Wade said. "It was a shot made going into a timeout. Every team does something. That's the game. ... That's not the first time. It won't be the last time."
It's a nice little turning point that Mavericks players can turn to after the fact to explain their stunning comeback, but that's not the same thing as saying it actually fired them up. No, what fired Dallas up was facing a 15-point deficit in what was essentially a must-win game in the NBA Finals. If the Mavericks want to say otherwise, it's their right, but that's closer to the truth.