No Miami Vice
NBA Finals playlist: The songs LeBron James, Dwyane Wade & Dirk Nowitzki need tohear
As I always say, everything in life goes better with a music mix to soundtrack the situation. This year’s NBA Finals is just such a situation, as the Miami Heat try to take a 2-0 lead on the Dallas Mavericks Thursday night.
Do you need to get yourself prepared for all the action? Skip the newspaper sports section, pal, and open your ears. These dozen songs will tell you all you need to know.
“Miami” by Will Smith: We need to set the scene first, so let’s go back to a time when Will Smith still dabbled in music in between saving the world from aliens and post-apocalyptic zombies. This fun jam certainly captures the explosive vibe of the present-day Heat better than Jan Hammer’s Miami Vice music ever could.
“Dallas” by The Flatlanders: The first two songs on this mix speak to the differences between the two cities and their teams in terms of style and attitude. Best line of this song: “Dallas is a rich man with a death wish in his eyes.” Sounds like any owner that you know? Speaking of which…
“If I Had A Million Dollars” by Barenaked Ladies: I could imagine a young Mark Cuban would have appreciated the sentiment of this song. Of course, you can’t buy an NBA title, although some would argue that the Heat did exactly that by bringing in LeBron James and Chris Bosh.
“Magic Number” by De La Soul: A catchy romp, based on a Schoolhouse Rock song, by one of rap’s best ever trios is the perfect way to celebrate what could go down as the NBA’s best ever triad to be found on one team: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. In addition, the beat sounds like the soundtrack to a well-oiled Heat fast break.
“No More Mr. Nice Guy” by Alice Cooper: While we’re on the subject of King James, this song encapsulates the image transformation that began with the oft-maligned Decision. He’s now one of the most polarizing guys in sport, but he has used all the bile and venom spewed at him as motivation this postseason.
“Still The Same” by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band: This one goes out to Jason Kidd, who, at age 38, is working the same kind of magic (only more grounded and less fast) for the Mavs as he did in taking the Nets to back-to-back Finals in 2002 and 2003. Now if he can just get over the hump, it would put the capper on a Hall Of Fame career.
“Clubbed To Death” by Rob Dougan: Also known as the theme from The Matrix, which NBA fans know as the alias for Dallas forward Shawn Marion. Marion was a revelation in the Mavs-Thunder series, pestering Kevin Durant into frustration. He’ll need to do the same with LeBron for Dallas to have a chance.
“Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds: It can be easy, with LeBron and D-Wade running around, to overlook Chris Bosh. The Bulls made that mistake at their own peril. Bosh is putting up his numbers in an efficient fashion and making big plays at crunch time.
“99 Luftballons” by Nena: OK, we needed to celebrate the brilliance of Dirk Nowitzki, who decimated the entire Western Conference in the playoffs. Finding the proper song to honor his German heritage narrowed my options to this bizarre one-hit wonder and the Falco oeuvre. Sorry, Dirk.
“Substitute” by The Who: The Miami bench has had some sporadically good moments in the postseason (including Game 1 of the Finals), but it likely won’t match the production of Dallas’ subs in the series, especially sweet-shooting veteran Jason Terry and spark-plug playmaker JJ Barea.
“Sharp Dressed Man” by ZZ Top: We have to send some love to Pat Riley, whose front-office clout helped to lure James and Bosh aboard. Don’t forget that he was the original stylish coach back with the Showtime Lakers, way before guys like Rick Pitino turned the sideline into an over-the-top fashion show.
“The Underdog” by Spoon: “You got no fear of the underdog/That’s why you will not survive.” That says it all about the Mavericks unlikely run to this point, especially considering that they were picked by many to lose in the first round. If I were Miami, I would heed those lyrics with extreme vigilance.