The entire armada that is my family - we are good Irish Catholics -was given the perfect start to our first-ever beach vacation. Sixteen adults and 23 children - a group very logistically tough to get together - celebrated the closest thing we have ever had to a Cleveland sports championship: A Miami Heat loss in the NBA finals.
I'm sorry, but the professional indoor soccer championships that the Cleveland Crunch brought the city in the mid-to-late 1990s just didn't excite too many in northeast Ohio. I would be lying if I said we were not loving every second of LeBron James' demise - he rejected us like the NCAA committee spurns a deserving team on Selection Sunday, this after we lavished him with praise and support throughout his entire high school and pro career.
We defended him through thick and thin. That's what you do for one of your own, even when he wears a Yankees cap to a Cleveland Indians playoff game. But, it wasn't just about seeing him fall flat on his face as much as it was seeing Dirk Nowitzki winning it the right way, through loyalty, patience and sacrifice.
In professional sports today, loyalty has taken a back seat to money, and patience and sacrifice come in second to the "quick fix." It was great to see these trends temporarily revert back to how it used to be when a player put self second to the city and franchise that first gave him or her a chance. James did not do this and lost, and Nowitzki did do this and won.
We had hoped that James would follow this formula and bring the world's loyalist fans - sorry Steelers fans but it is easy to be loyal when you win -the championship we have craved for decades. Ironically, he was shown that he didn't need a "Robin" to win and that a team can defeat an assembly of all-stars.
James went on national television and not only embarrassed his hometown - Akron and Cleveland are only 22 miles apart - but told the world that he clearly subscribed to the instant gratification theory of his generation.
As a former player and current coach, nothing is more satisfying in basketball, and in sports in general, than a group of less gifted players coming together and defeating a group with more talent. It's the most beautiful thing in all of sports. I like to call it the puzzle theory. Some pieces are more important to the completion of the puzzle, but you need every one of them, and if they all come together you can achieve your goal. James didn't believe this was possible in Cleveland.
For the 39 members of my family the sweetest part of the Dallas Mavericks' win was that deep down inside Lebron James had to know he could have done for the Cavs what Nowitzki did for the Mavs.
He just lacked the loyalty, patience and sacrifice.
Tom Fox is a Cleveland native who played basketball at St. Francis University and is now an assistant coach for the Altoona Area High School boys basketball team.