Merry Christmas Basketball Fans!
Today is the day when your long awaited fix for a game will be fulfilled. VIBE's Year-End Issue features an article with "Ambition" rapper Wale where he runs down the year's most applaud-worthy and flagrant sports episodes.
Peep the full article below.
Highlight: After years of postseason ﬂops—including a meltdown in the 2006 NBA Finals—Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks shed the “Choker” label and defeat the Miami Heat in a ﬁve-years-later championship rematch.*
Wale Says: “Dirk winning was inevitable. I knew he was capable of doing it—his career is being looked at as a complete body of work now. Dirk deﬁnitely goes into the conversation with Larry Bird in some aspect.”
Highlight: Despite his batting average dropping nearly .60 points below his career mark, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter knocks his milestone 3,000 career hit.
Wale Says: “Good for Derek Jeter. He’s not playing at the same level [anymore], but I respect his consistency. I think that’s what we should be praising.”
Highlight: Aaron Rodgers leads the Green Bay Packers to the Super Bowl and emerges from the shadow of his predecessor, “the Ole’ Gunslinger” Brett Favre.
Wale Says: “Aaron Rodgers represents ambition to the fullest. He went to a team with a highly regarded quarterback [Brett Favre] that didn’t want to show him no love or show him the ropes. He’s just leading.”
FOR THE LOSS
Lowlight: The Miami Heat cannot overcome LeBron James’ fourth quarter Houdini acts in the NBA Finals.
Wale Says: “They’re just coming together as a team. And the expectations were kind of ridiculous for them. LeBron didn’t have help beforehand, and now he’s on a new team. When the season gets rolling again, you’ll see what a difference a year makes.”
Lowlight: Future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning is sidelined after his third neck surgery in 19 months.
Wale Says: “I hope it’s not career-ending and that he gets to end his career on his own terms. It’s crazy how much he meant to that team; he’s one of the best quarterbacks to ever play.”
Lowlight: Cheap shot or not, Floyd Mayweather knocks out Victor Ortiz (who’d previously head-butted him) in a controversial ﬁnish to their welterweight title ﬁght.
Wale Says: “I think boxing took a step back. It was real WWF.” —Thomas Golianopoulos