Tonight marks the first game of the 2011 NBA finals, a series which pits the east vs. the west, in a battle for basketball supremacy.
This year it comes down to a battle of the south- out of the southwest comes the Dallas Mavericks, who have reached the final series after defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder. Meanwhile, after a hard fought series with the Chicago Bulls, the Miami Heat comes out of the southeast.
While the majority of talk surrounding the Heat will center on the likes of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh around here we can’t ignore the local talent of Jamaal Magloire.
Currently a big man for the Heat, Kentucky fans in the area will surely remember Magloire’s days as a star for the Wildcats.
The Toronto native played with the Cats in their NCAA championship in 1998, while playing out of Rupp Arena he was called “Big Cat,” a nickname given to him out of his power-focused style of play and size.
After being drafted by the then, Charlotte Hornets out of college Magloire proved himself to be a powerful pro as well, landing a position on the East All-Star team in 2004.
Bouncing around the league making stops in Milwaukee, Portland, and New Jersey, it wasn’t until Magloire made his way to Miami that he got his first chance at an NBA championship, a chance that he and the rest of the Heat are looking to capitalize on, beginning tonight at 9 in Miami, and broadcasted live on ABC.
Meanwhile the Mavericks have no direct local connections outside of Magloire himself, whose last stop prior to arriving in Florida was in Dallas.
The series itself should be an interesting one, with the likes of James, Wade, and Bosh on one end of the court and Nowitsky, Kidd, and Marion on the other this could turn into a very competitive contest.
Image courtesy of Jamaal Magloire.com