A selection of stories from the week we were all, inexplicably, DeShawn Stevenson.
Stay Soft, Dirk Nowitzki | Even before Dirk Nowitzki lifted a championship trophy on Sunday night, he was being held up as a new man. Nowitzki had reinvented himself, we were told. He'd finally "shed" the Euro-soft label plastered to him throughout his career and, to much adulation, morphed into the sort of rugged warrior that wins titles. The tale of an individual transforming himself to wrestle destiny into submission satisfies a special American yearning. In this case, it's obscuring an even more fundamentally American story. (Luke O'Brien)
LeBron James Is STILL A Cocksucker | LeBron is always going to be a failure because, in his mind, failure isn't failing. He's already King James (Seriously, he fucking announces it to people when sending a text.), and that is a title that, to him, is far better than "Six-Time NBA Champion" or whatever other title outsiders expect from him. He's the perfect bad guy because he's never going to change his ways. And that doesn't say anything about us, or about America, or about racism, or about any of that bullshit. It just says that LeBron is a cocksucker. And that he will always be. (Drew Magary)
• MORE: Every Overwrought Thing Adrian Wojnarowski Has Said About LeBron James | Ohio's Legislative Dick Move: Mavs Honored For Taking Down LeBron
Why We Shouldn't Blame Roberto "LeBrongo" | Both the league and fans hoping for growth should delight that the NHL had its best American TV rating in 38 years even though one of the teams came from Canada. But that bunch of hockey tourists, searching for a playoff fix, saddled game seven with a bogus postmortem, which manifests itself in "LeBrongo," a term that blew up on Twitter Wednesday night (pre-riots) and reappeared in hockey-tourist-in-chief Bill Simmons' column yesterday. Roberto Luongo played well on Wednesday. (LeBron sucked on Sunday.) Luongo most certainly played well enough for Vancouver to win. His teammates—particularly the Sedins, Vancouver's two biggest stars and best skaters—let him and the Canucks down. (Jack Dickey)
• MORE: Luongo's Legacy: Not Tonight | Roberto Luongo And The Last Stand Of the Superstar Goalie
There's A Riot Goin' On | After Vancouver's team crumbled, some local hooligans tried to make the city do the same. We had fires, nut-shots, actual violence, and a bit of love, through it all. We soon met the lovers and the ne'er-do-wells. And we heard from our man in western Canada.
When And How The Canucks Lost The Series | Patrice Bergeron's shorthanded goal made it 3-0 Boston in the waning moments of the second. For all intents and purposes, it was an insurmountable lead and was the moment the Cup engravers could start checking their spelling. But it was also a microcosm of so many things that swung the series for the Bruins. (Barry Petchesky)
• MORE: The Canucks Were On The Verge Of Historical Mediocrity
The Slow, Sad Death Of A Riot's Symbol | Why do they do it? It's hard to stand on the outside and watch people try to burn their city down. It's even harder to understand the mentality of someone who morphs from sports fan to looter, pillager, criminal. What is in the mind of the rioter? Bubba Helms was 17 years old, he was drunk, he was high, and he just wanted to be on TV. He got what he wanted, and he still kept the memories close at the very end. (Barry Petchesky)
German Newspaper Credits Dirk, "First White MVP Since Larry Bird" With Defeating "Ghetto Basketball" | HEADLINE: "Nowitzki defeated the Ghetto Basketball." What ensues is a few early paragraphs about the triumph of team basketball—"The victory of his Dallas Mavericks was a kind of beacon of how the game should be played. It was necessary to trust the players to team spirit, common will, common struggle. And not individual players," and the like. They chalk US defeats in international play up to the same phenomenon. Maybe ghetto basketball is just a poor term for selfish play? Nah, not really. (Jack Dickey)
• ALSO: One Morning In Dirkland: A Game 6 Report From A Bar In Germany
Elaine's Was A Dump, Or The Grantland Fallacy | ESPN's Professional Southerner Wright Thompson used his space in Grantland to write a loving meditation on Elaine's, the now-defunct bad New York restaurant mainly known to people under 45 as a Billy Joel lyric. This made Thompson at least the third member of his little circle of sportswriting buddies to get misty about the place. (Tom Scocca)
How I Tuned The Heartstrings For NBC Olympics Coverage | Ronda Rousey, in August of 2008, was 21 years old. Her home was Riverside County, California. When she was 14, she had named her new kitten Beijing because she was so certain she'd be there for the 2008 Games, as a judoka — like her mother, Dr. AnnMaria De Mars, who had been a world champion before the Olympics even had a medal for women in judo. I had her mother's cell phone number, in case I needed to call to talk about Ronda's career, her accomplishments, the cat. I had never seen Rousey compete before; I knew these things because NBC had given me a disc with a digital copy of the research manuals that a few NBC employees had been working on since 2004. But she'd arrived in Beijing, rather triumphantly, and she was close to becoming the first American woman to ever win an Olympic medal in judo. I was in New York, sitting in front of a computer screen and sipping burnt coffee in the Saturday Night Live writers' room at 30 Rock at about four a.m., watching Rousey hop around on a blue mat in the preliminaries. (Emma Carmichael)
The One With A Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Selling Herself For Sex Parties On Craigslist | "I am in possession of risque pictures of a current Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. In the pictures, she is not completely naked, but she is posing in her panties, lingerie, and does expose her butt in one of the pictures. I also have e-mails from this cheerleader responding to ads on craigslist for sex parties. In these e-mails, this cheerleader arranges meetings with strangers that posted on craigslist looking for sexual partners, including threesomes and other fetish party inquiries. This cheerleader arranged sexual meetings with multiple sex partner's through craigslist, and in most of these situations even inquired whether there would be compensation involved for her sexual services." (A.J. Daulerio)
Editor-in-Chief: A.J. Daulerio | Senior Editor: Tommy Craggs | Writers: Barry Petchesky, Luke O'Brien | Contributing Editor: Drew Magary | Night/Weekend Editor: Brian Hickey | Video Editor: Emma Carmichael | Contributing Artist: Jim Cooke | Interns: Jack Dickey, David Roher | Moderators: Comment Ninja Squadron