2011 NBA Finals: Media Bias Towards Heat is Obvious

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We are all quite familiar with the Harlem Globetrotters and the entertaining basketball show that they put on. We are less familiar, however, with their regular, staged opponent the Washington Generals. The Generals exist simply for the Globetrotters to beat them and show them up for the crowds enjoyment. Now, most of you are probably thinking what in the heck are you talking about, so let me tell you. This is the story of the coverage of the NBA Finals and the Dallas Mavericks are the Washington Generals.

Midway through game one of the 2011 NBA Finals play by play announcer Mike Breen commented that often times this season Miami Heat games were covered as a matchup of the Heat and the Heat’s opponent. In this sense he was effectively describing how his crew and the media are treating this year’s NBA Finals.

The first example of this came during the third quarter of game one when ABC’s announcing crew spent what seemed like half the quarter analyzing the off-season moves and drama that led to the Heat’s current roster. This is not something that would surprise me if they game was a blowout one way or the other, but this was a tight, tight game for at least 40 minutes or so and it was uncalled for for the crew to get lost when calling an NBA Finals game.

After Miami was able to finish off game one, the treatment of the series in this manner got even worse. People forget that Dallas led for much of this game and in my opinion outplayed the Heat defensively. The outcome of game one as far as I saw simply came down to the Mavericks missing good looks and the Heat making plays despite the strong Dallas defense.

Whether you completely agree with this or not you have to realize that there is at least some truth in this and Miami far from rolled over the Mavs in game one. However, if you did not watch the first game and instead only listened to all of the “experts” it would seem as if the Heat dominated the Mavs at both ends and had little to no difficulty notching the W.

Finally, I will provide one more piece of evidence that the Finals are being covered as if the Heat have already won it all. Wednesday morning Brian Windhorst was interviewed on Mike and Mike in the morning to discuss game one of the NBA Finals. Much of the short interview revolved around rehashing the Heat’s win, however, the marquee question of the interview is the key piece of evidence.

Mike Greenberg ended the interview by asking Windhorst if it would bother LeBron if the Heat win and yet Wade was the MVP. To me this is a bogus question in any situation let alone after just one game of the Finals. However, the fact that it was asked in this situation tells me that some members of the media have given the championship to the Heat after just one game and that the only question left to answer is who will be named Finals MVP.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I understand the Heat are playing great and have a 1-0 lead in the Finals against an aging Mavericks team with a slightly injured star in Dirk Nowitzki. However, there is absolutely no reason for the media to be so biased and one sided that they cover the entirety of the NBA Finals as if it is a game between the Globetrotters and the Generals. The Heat may win the series and they may even sweep the Mavs for all I know, but it will hurt the NBA down the road to treat one team as the only team.

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