NBA Finals: An MV3 Apologia From A St. Louis Cardinals Fan

I'm going to be honest: I can't get behind the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. I'm not sure this is a controversial position, exactly, seeing as their televised assembly couldn't have been less popular if it had finished with LeBron James waking up and realizing the whole thing had been a dream, or had it, but because my all-time favorite baseball team happened to have three MVP candidates itself—the 2004 MV3 Cardinals, with Albert Pujols, Jim Edmonds, and Scott Rolen, not to mention Larry Walker—I feel a need to make the distinction loudly and clearly. 

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The primary distinction: Jim Edmonds was not an MVP candidate before he reached the Cardinals, and Scott Rolen just so happened to be a pariah in Philadelphia, which does not have a great relationship with its star athletes, aside from Chase Utley.

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The secondary distinction: Stardom in the NBA is different from stardom in Major League Baseball. The Miami Heat as they exist in 2011 seem almost claustrophobically stacked with star players; after James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh there simply aren't any more shots to go around, which is why their fourth-leading scorer has a third as many field goal attempts as their third-leading scorer. No matter how good Pujols, Edmonds, and Rolen were, Roger Cedeno always had to bat eventually, to my endless chagrin. 

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Much as I'm rooting for Juwan Howard to finally get the monkey off his back and win that first NBA Championship, I'm going to have to root for Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks here. 

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