As many of you know, the Miami Heat are about to face the Dallas Mavericks for the NBA championship.
These are both very strong teams that had to go through tough opponents to get to this round. Miami beat Detroit, the team with the most regular season wins and last year’s champions (under a Jewish coach, by the way) while Dallas needed to overcome Phoenix with their speedy attack and that amazing Canadian shorty, Steve Nash.
Both teams are in the finals for the first time in franchise history. Dallas has a rookie coach in Avery Johnson who has proven himself to be a masterful student of the game. Miami has Pat Riley who is a bit of a sentimental favorite because he had taken the Magic-Johnson-years LA Lakers to championships (usually against the much reviled Celtics).
Both teams have well liked and respected seven-footers. Miami’s Shaquille O’Neal is going for a final series on his third team (is this a first?) after having lost a bunch of weight so that he can show that traitorous Kobe Bryant what he gave up when he dismissed Shaq. Dallas has German-born Dirk Nowitzki who is an incredibly talented and versatile player (meaning that he can actually dribble and shoot from a distance despite his size). Both teams also have other exceptional players who step up and can outperform with Miami’s Dwayne Wade and Dallas with Josh Howard and the alleged testicles-puncher Jason Terry.
But best of all, both teams have Jewish owners. That’s right, the always-visible billionaire with the best business timing in the world (he got into Internet radio early and sold to Yahoo for billions before anybody realized it was kinda not worth billions), Mark Cuban, is Jewish (and has a blog, btw). Miami’s Raanan Katz is an Israeli American who used to play ball in Israel, almost made it to the Celtics in the NBA and then was fortunate enough to be cut. Why fortunate? Because he started buying apartments, eventually acquiring a real estate empire enabling him to become owner of the Heat and co-owner of Macabee Tel Aviv, Israel’s finest basketball team for over a generation.
Well, Mr. Katz has put it out there that Israelis should be praying for his team, the Miami Heat.
“God can always help; we need him on our side against Dallas,” said Katz. “Every Israeli must support us; they must go the Western Wall and pray for us. Miami Heat is no less Israeli than Maccabi. This is also a group with Israeli ownership in which many Americans play.”
Fair enough. But then again, Dallas is a group with Jewish-American ownership in which non-Americans play.
What do you think God wants us to do here?
Update for Game 1: Apparently more people prayed for Cuban and the Mavs today.