Michael Finley’s Texas-Sized Bad Luck

You think you have it rough? Just look at former UW and current NBA star Michael Finley.

In 2005, Finley gets waived by the Dallas Mavericks after eight plus years of loyal service during which he was twice named to the NBA All-Star team. Following the cut, he elects to sign with the defending champion San Antonio Spurs even though other teams were offering him more money and more playing time. After years of coming up short — often to the same San Antonio Spurs — in the postseason, Finley made the decision to become part of what he hoped would be a championship team.

Fast forward to 2006: As had happened in the past, Dallas and San Antonio meet in the NBA playoffs. Finley’s former boss Mark Cuban and his former teammate Dirk Nowitzki encourage Dallas fans to boo the “traitor” Finley (even though Finley didn’t leave Dallas, Dallas cut Finley), advice the Maverick faithful gleefully and lustfully followed. And instead of silencing those boos, Finley continued his personal intrastate NBA playoff losing streak, as his new team the Spurs was finally defeated by his old team the Mavericks.

And to top it off, Finley got punched in the groin by former teammate Jason Terry. Adding insult to painful injury and embarrassment, Terry was a major reason Finley and his Spurs were eliminated, as Terry (following a game 6 suspension) scored 27 points in Monday night’s deciding game seven, more than doubling Finley’s 12 point output.

Though Badger fans won’t be able to watch Finley play anymore this season, we will be able to cheer on former Badger star Devin Harris, who is in his second year with the Dallas Mavericks. Although considering the pain and suffering caused to him by his former team, I doubt that Finley will join the Badger faithful in cheering Harris and the Mavericks on.


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