I find that people in Miami are just as quick to compliment my tee-shirt collection as they are my daily talk show. Between "Neil's" in Boca Raton and "The7Line" and "NoMas" up in New York, I have put together quite a collection of authentic team tee-shirts. But of all my favorite merchandise my New York Knicks attire is my most beloved and coveted. With that said I am ready, willing and able to destroy all of my Knicks clothing if my prediction on this year's NBA Finals does not come to fruition. And I'm going to invite all of you to watch this emotional bonfire. I am so certain that the Dallas Mavericks will exact revenge from their 2006 Final's loss to Miami that I am putting something I love dearly on the line. So certain that I'm willing to watch years and years of great childhood memories with my dad go up in flames. But my suspicion is that I will wear that Carmelo Anthony tee shirt the day the Mavericks celebrate their Championship in downtown Dallas in June.
Some of you are reading this and are in complete agreement with me. Some of you are reading this and chose to laugh over my Bulls prediction. Truth is I've been bullish about the Heat all year. I was the one standing beside Jeff Van Gundy when he talked about a Heat team that had a legitimate chance of eclipsing Michael Jordan's Bulls 72 regular-season wins. I picked the Heat without any hesitation to take out the 76ers and the Celtics in the opening two rounds of the playoffs. And then I picked the Heat to beat the Bulls and advance to the NBA Finals. But admittedly, and maybe in knee-jerk fashion, I changed my pick after the Bulls made quick work of Miami in Game 1. Obviously in retrospect it was not the right decision. But I don't suffer from "buyer's remorse" and I'm not sure logically it wasn't the right pick.
Obviously picking against the Heat in these NBA Finals will not be popular with a fan base that feels like they've been personally attacked all season long. And in fairness to Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have they not earned the respect of every NBA fan? Whether you like or dislike the way these three came together to their credit they're just 4 wins away from accomplishing the goal they set out to do last July. With all the criticism leveled at Spoelstra and the Big 3 the Heat are 12-3 in the playoffs and 8-0 at home. I personally have a tremendous amount of respect for what they've done and I'm the first to give credit where credit is due. But with all that said, I think Dallas is the better team and I have a lifetime of special Knick attire that will pay the price if I'm wrong!
I am fully aware that Chicago is a better defensive team than Dallas but the Mavericks are a much better offensive team than Chicago. But this is not the same Dirk Nowitzki that Udonis Haslem and the Heat pushed around five years ago. I'm not ready to make him the next Larry Bird, but he's a better and more physical player now than in 2011. Jason Kidd has slowed down a bit but he's still a Hall of Famer and can still dish the rock. And unlike Derek Rose's Bulls, this Mavericks offense has a bevy of shooters that can burn an opposing defense. Jason Terry, J.J. Barea and Peja Stojakovic are all capable of hitting the big shot from the perimieter. Plus Tyson Chandler's size and Shawn Marion's versatility have proven to be valuable assets to the team.
I know there will be some that will accuse me of being a "continued hater" and that, more than anything, is the motivation behind this pick. But I urge you people to listen back to the tapes when I was higher on the Heat than most of the local columnists. The Heat have proven to be a great team and are certainly capable and worthy of winning it all. But as the postseason has evolved, I just feel the Mavericks are a little deeper and a little better. And if I'm wrong all of my detractors can stand around the bonfire and sing the famous lyrics to Disco Inferno in unison. "Burn Baby Burn!"
Listen to "The Sid Rosenberg Show" weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on WQAM (560-AM) or at WQAM.com.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times