Item #2 found in my treasure chest – Sports Illustrated 2011 NBA Champions Commemorative Issue
I think I started playing basketball when I was 2-years-old. Seriously, I started by shooting hoops on one of those Fisher Price children’s basketball goals. I was somewhere between 8 and 10-years-old when I went to my first Dallas Mavericks game. My brother and I became MFFLs (Mavs Fans For Life).
Luckily for us, we became fans during an era when the franchise rose to its height. And the first pinnacle of that era was in 2011.
The Mavs playoff run in 2011 was literally like a dream. We saw the Mavs erase 15 point deficits in five minutes, more than once! We saw them blow right past one of the NBA’s premier franchises (sorry Phil Jackson). We saw Shawn Marion play great defense, and block a crucial shot on one of the best offensive players in the league (sorry Kevin Durant). We saw Dirk knock down clutch free-throws after an opponent tried holding his hand to psych him out (sorry Thabo).
And then came the Championship. Oh glorious moment! I went to Game 3 of the NBA Finals courtesy of my good friend. I can honestly say it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. In this, the final series, we saw Dirk play through illness. We remember little JJ Barea from Puerto Rico move into the starting lineup and helping to turn the tide of the series. And oh my goodness I remember Jason “The JET” Terry pulling up from waaaay beyond three and knocking down a trey in the face of the so-called king of basketball.
It was one of the happiest moments of my life when the great Dirk Nowitzki hoisted the Larry O’Brien trophy. Courage, loyalty and effort can take you a lot of places in life, and I think that’s what the 2011 Dallas Mavs showed a lot of people.
Why do I keep this magazine?
Because it reminds me of a good time and a lot of good memories and having the magazine for sure helps to knock the dust off of some of those recollections. It also reminds me what it takes to be a champion. And hey, I’d like to get it signed someday.