That’s about the only word I can use to describe what the last 30 days have been like.
Professional sports is an incredibly humbling business. No team wins every year. Many teams have never won. Far more often than not there is the game/series that got away from you that ended the season with a loss. Not this year. Tremendous.
For me, the entire season came down to the last 90 seconds of Game 6. Our clinching game. I can’t even begin to tell you all the emotions I experienced in the course of those 90 seconds.
You see, I refused to let myself think we were going to win. I refused to get ahead of the game. Too many times I had seen games get away from our team. Too many times I had seen our team snatch away what the other side thought was a sure win. We had come from way behind to win games in every series in this playoff run. If we could do it to them, they could do it to us. In my mind, if I even began to think that a win was a certainty, I would jinx us.
It wasn’t until there were about 90 seconds left in Game 6 that I let myself accept that we were going to be World Champs. In the video below, you can see me screaming. That’s me letting out 8 months of stress. That’s me releasing every doubt I had. Every dumbass superstition I had. That’s me transitioning from “I know we can, I hope we can” to “We are the Champions” It’s me feeling joy for every guy wearing a Mavs uniform and every Mavs fan around the world that had to be feeling just as happy as I was.
The picture below is me trying to get my composure at least a little bit and thinking about what comes next. I don’t think I heard a word that Coach Casey said.
Thirty days later, it’s still surreal. I’m still thrilled for every guy who put his blood sweat and tears on to the court. I’m also happy for every player who was a positive part of the Mavs since I bought the team. We have a culture at the Mavs that I’m very proud of. It took a lot of experiences that taught our players, coaches, staff and even fans and prepared us and motivated our guys.
In these last 30 days there have been surprises as well.
The first is just how many people around the country were rooting for us. As I travel around the country the response and support is far beyond anything I have experienced. People are genuinely pleased that the Mavs won. I got off a plane in NY a couple days after we won and people at the terminal all just stood up and started clapping. In NY !
The second and still the most amazing to me is how Dallas Ft Worth and all of North Texas is responding to the Mavs. I expect people to come up and congratulate me. But that isnt what is happening. Instead, people are thanking me. Thanking me for the unity and camaraderie everyone in the region felt as EVERYONE got behind the Mavs and cheered us on to a championship. Thanking me for the closeness people felt for each other as everyone cheered on the Mavs.
This wasn’t my team. This wasn’t the player’s team. This was OUR team. Our family. Our friends. Our company’s. Our city’s. The Dallas Mavericks belonged to all of us and brought joy to all of us.
To be part of something so special is Tremendous.