Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Goodbye Cruel World!

The Dallas Mavericks face the Golden State Warriors tonight at the American Airlines Center in a battle for the last few playoff spots. Win and the Mavericks will retain sole possession of the seventh spot in the West. Lose and the Mavs will be tied with Denver and Golden State.

This is the first home game since Cuban announced that he would allow amateur bloggers into his locker room. Unfortunately this blogger wasn’t granted credentials.

Since the sole purpose of this blog was to report from the Mavericks locker room, denial to said room renders this blog moot. So I suppose that this will be the last maverickslockerroom blog. I thank all of my loyal readers. Both of you have been very supportive.

Before I drift off into the Internet obscurity where pages can only be accessed from cached files on Google, I’ll fire off my parting thoughts on the Mavericks. This is after all a Mavericks Blog.

The Owner

I’m not going to disparage Mark Cuban. What does bug me is that these guys are called owners. They’re NOT owners! Owners are in complete control of their business, save for government oversight. Cuban is in control of very few things. He wants to complain about officiating? Sorry, you can’t do that. You want to run onto the court? Not gonna happen. You want to ban bloggers from the locker room? Sorry, that’s a no go. Face the facts; David Stern is the true owner. He’s in control of the NBA, not Mark Cuban. Let’s call them what they are…franchisees. They’re franchise operators, not owners.

This semantic annoyance came to a head when Minnesota Timberwolves franchisee Glen Taylor complained that Kevin Garnett tanked the end of last season. The media asked what he thought about his former owner’s comments. Former owner! Kevin Garnett isn’t a slave. These multimillionaire genetic freaks aren’t owned by anyone. Saying that their franchisee “owns” them is disparaging at best, but offensive and given the racial profile of owners vs. players, racist at worst.

The General Manager

Why is Donnie Nelson still around? This is one of the worst cases of nepotism since any movie with any Baldwin not named Stephen. Let’s recap his career with Dallas as GM:
2003 Drafted Josh Howard
March 19, 2005 Named Avery Johnson Head Coach

That’s it! What does this guy do all day, play sudoku?

Unfortunately for Mavs fans, he’s done a lot more than play sudoku. He’s responsible for Jason Kidd, Tyronn Lue, Jamaal Magloire, Juwan Howard, Eddie Jones, JJ Barea, Austin Croshere, Maurice Ager, Keith Van Horn, Calvin Booth, getting rid of Michael Finley and Steve Nash, passing on Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Baron Davis, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Shaquille O’Neal, and worst of all…re-signing Raef LaFrentz.

While San Antonio, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Houston, and Utah all trade and retool their rosters to become stronger, this guy, who’s only qualification seems to be that he was born to another guy who looks like he should be coaching while holding a scotch and soda, has done nothing but run the beloved Mavs into the ground.

The Head Coach: Avery Johnson
Can’t you hear it?

Dom-dom-do-do-dom…Over-rated! Dom-dom-do-do-dom…over rated! I actually don’t think that the “Little General” (which consequently sounds like something some teenager would nickname his genitals), is that bad. I put him in the company of Byron Scott and Doc Rivers. Former players, decent coaches, but not great coaches. He’s not going to make your team better; then again, he’s not going to make it worse.

His record to date, would suggest he may be a future hall of famer, but that’s just what I call the Phil Jackson syndrome. He looks so good, because he’s coached such a good team. The team he inherited from Don Nelson could pretty much coach itself. But, now that Donn (the extra “n” is for nincompoop) Nelson has run the team into the ground, you’re witnessing the beginning of mediocrity. I hope he enjoyed the NBA finals, because I doubt he’ll ever get back that there.

The Superstar: Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk, du bist eine kleine Fraulein.

Blondie probably expressed Mavs fans’ frustration best, “Once I had a love, and it was a gas. Soon found out, had a heart of glass.”

If the playoff frustrations of recent years weren’t enough evidence, the giant German offered up more today. After being cleared by medical professionals, acting as if disability investigators were watching, he hobbled around a shoot-around and said, “I've got to be pain-free…I would rather have somebody out there that can go and give 100 percent.” Let’s see, Kobe Bryant is playing with pretty much a finger that’s ripped to shreds and Yao Ming played over a week with a freakin’ broken foot, but Dirk wants to wait until he’s pain free. Suddenly, he’s the coach and thinks he knows which personnel decisions to make.

At least, someone in the Mavs organization had the cojones to make Dirk play tonight. He probably told him that the playoffs have already begun for the Mavs. The math is simple…take care of business and win, and they move on, lose the majority of their remaining games and they’re going fishing.

Despite Dirk playing, his remarks have to lower locker room morale. I wouldn’t know however since I wasn’t granted locker room access! I just wish the Germans had Dirk’s fighting spirit during World War II. A lot of good Americans would still be alive.

The Has-Been: Jason Kidd

I think he should have to change his name to Jason Old Man. Kidd is misleading. Clearly, he hasn’t made the team better, and his shooting skills (and migraine difficulties!), have been well documented. Cuban’s a businessman, so let’s put it in terms he’ll understand. According to ESPN’s trade machine, Jason Old Man is making $19.7 million dollars this season, Deron Williams $4 million, Chris Paul $3.6 million. Yeah, Donn Nelson’s a genius.

The Big Man

This is probably the most glaring weakness against the Mavs. The Shaq-named Erica Dampier is no match for the Western Bigs. Shaq, Yao, Duncan, Stoudamire, Bynum, West, Gasol, and Boozer will score at will.

The San Diego Mavericks

Hate to break it to you, but these are not your Dallas Mavericks. They’re a business out to make money, and has somehow conned the public into funding their building. Make no mistake that the Mavericks are one sweet deal away from moving to another city. They don’t represent Dallas. The players and staff are not from Dallas. Even your favorite player is one phone call away from being traded.

Depending on the year, it’s not unusual to hear a Dallas fan scream out:
“Yea! Jason Kidd! Rookie of the year! We love you!”
“Jason Kidd, you suck! I hate Phoenix!”
“Jason Kidd, you suck! I hate New Jersey!”
“Jason Old Man! Welcome back! We love you!”

These players are just doing their job and have no allegiance to Dallas. The club has no allegiance to you. Essentially you’re rooting for the jersey; you’re rooting for clothes.

Although this blog comes to an end, maybe I’ll see you at a Mavs game. I’ll be the one screaming out, “Go white shirt! Woo!”

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Mavs Announce Credentialed Bloggers

DALLAS-Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban held a press conference today announcing which bloggers would be credentialed to cover Mavericks games.

The controversy began after Dallas Morning News blogger, Tim McMahon, wrote a disparaging blog regarding Mavericks head coach Avery Johnson. Shortly thereafter, Cuban banned all bloggers from the locker room, citing a lack of space for the bloggers. The NBA responded by forcing Cuban to open up the locker room to bloggers.

Cuban did exactly that and on Saturday announced, via blog, that he would open up the locker room to bloggers both professional and amateur alike. The caveat being that Cuban would choose the amateur bloggers himself.

Cuban is proud to announce that the first credentialed blogger is none other than Cuban president Raul Castro. Surprisingly, Castro is a zealous Mavericks fan and amateur blogger.

“My brother, he love the baseball. Me? I love the basketball,” responded Castro via satellite. “I love the basketball long time,” added Castro with a snicker.

Interestingly, the brother of Fidel Castro’s passion for the sport developed during war. Castro explained, “The year was 1961. Early on during the Bay of Pigs invasion, I was surrounded and out of ammunition. I took off my uniform and just started playing basketball. They surrounded me, guns drawn, and told me to surrender. I ignored them and kept shooting. They thought I wasn’t a threat and eventually moved on. Basketball, she save my life.”

Although Castro’s basketball for passion cannot be disputed, his blogging skills are. “In Cuba, we don’t have no [sic] computers or internet. I usually just blog on a calculator. If you turn it up side down, sometimes you can make words. Hee hee 8008 says ‘boob,’” explained Castro.

Cuban defended his decision to allow such an amateur blogger and a communist into the Mavericks’ locker room. Cuban explained, “A blogger is a blogger is a blogger. It doesn’t matter if he’s a communist or a revolutionist. Plus, Raul has done some great things. He has recently allowed Cubans to stay in resort hotels and have their own mobile phones. You don’t know how difficult it’s been not having a mobile phone. The other billionaires would tease me. Finally, this Cuban is getting a mobile phone and when I do I’ll be sure to publish the number and share it with everyone so that everyone can call me at any time!”

When explained that the ban was for Cuban citizens living in Cuba, not for people named “Cuban,” the irascible owner became irate. “Shut up! That’s it; I’m banning all people who talk. There’s no room in this locker room for people that talk. Get out! Get out right now! Now! Now! Now!” Cuban yelled as he stomped his feet.

The NBA has yet to comment on Cuban’s ban of “talkers,” but most NBA insiders don’t expect it to last long. McMahon explained, “Cuban’s a talker. If no talkers can go in the locker room, then I guess he can’t go in there either.”

The Mavericks Locker Room blog emailed Cuban to respond to this paradox and only received a three-word response, “my head hurts.”

Enjoy April 1, 2008 everyone!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Mavs Escape From LA: 93-86

The Dallas Mavericks scraped through the second half of a back to back beating the Los Angeles Clippers 93-86. Both teams played without some of their stars as the Mavs rested injured Dirk Nowitzki and Jerry Stackhouse, while the Clippers didn’t suit up Elton Brand and Tim Thomas. The Clippers played a two man show between Corey Maggette and rookie Al Thornton all night, closing to within three in the final minutes. However, game–ending injuries to Clippers center Chris Kaman and guard Cuttino Mobley eventually caught up to the Clippers, and Josh Howard put the game out of reach with a couple of clutch jumpers pushing the lead back to 11 with less than two minutes to play.

The Mavs don’t have much time to relish this win, as they must prepare to host Golden State on Wednesday. The win gives the Mavericks sole possession of seventh place in the Western Conference.

I would have liked to have blogged more, but have been rendered impotent by a lack of locker room access.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Freefallin': Mavs Lose to Warriors

Playing without star forward Dirk Nowitzki and Jerry Stackhouse, the Mavs dropped another game to Nellieball tonight, falling 104-114 at Oracle Arena. The Mavericks have now lost two in a row, and five of their past six. The team that won 67 games last year, is now tied with Denver and Golden State for the last two Western Conference playoff spots. Dallas holds the tiebreaker and is sitting tenuously at seventh place. Although things get a little easier for the shorthanded Mavericks when they visit the woeful Clippers tomorrow night, they can't afford to look ahead to upcoming tough games against the Warriors, Lakers, and Suns.

I would blog more, but I wasn't afforded access to the Mavericks Locker Room.


Today is the one-day anniversary of this blog. Actually, anniversary is incorrect since it hasn’t been a year, but nevertheless I’m celebrating the birthday of this blog. This blog was born yesterday in response to Mark Cuban’s open invitation for bloggers to apply for locker room access to the Dallas Mavericks. And so to celebrate our birthday, let’s handicap our competition for blogger locker room access. To make it more fun, we’ll break them down based on crappy musical references.

Milli Vanilli. So named because they seem to have a very superficial desire/experience to be a blogger. Most of these “bloggers” don’t have blogs and are just rabid Mavericks fan who drool at the notion of seeing their favorite basketball player naked. Odds 25 to 1.

Spice Girls. These are the “Wannabe(s).” (You know you’re singing that song in your head right now. If you wanna be my lover…). These bloggers want to be journalists, but instead of opening the door to a future career with hard hitting stories, they’re hoping that writing what is essentially an email to everyone about really tall guys who have just showered is going to create opportunities. Don’t they know that today’s journalist just makes up stories and facts? They can be identified by dropping portions of their resume in their blog. Odds 10 to 1.

Marilyn Manson. These guys are just scary. Some say they want locker room access to take pictures. Others say they plan on posting a lot of pictures. Hmmm, maybe a locker room where grown men shower, change clothes, and sit around naked or half-naked isn’t exactly the place brag about wanting to take pictures. I shudder to think of why they think they need locker room access for their “photojournalism.” I guess they’re hoping for their big break into Playgirl. Odds 100 to 1.

The Jackson Five. In his blog, Cuban asked for 8th graders and also referenced allowing a 13 year old to write about the Mavericks. It sounds like he’d love to place a pre-pubescent prodigy in the locker room. He’d love the upstart to actually do a better job than the professional bloggers. The problem here is that Cuban will need to check birth certificates, because real 8th graders don’t typically use words like “insinuate.” You’ll get guys that look older than Greg Oden saying that they’re in the 8th grade just to get into the locker room. Still, I think the real 8th graders have an excellent chance of being accepted. Odds 2 to 1.

Britney Spears. These are fans of the Mavs who as a fan, somehow feel that it’s their team and that they know more than the so-called experts. They’re separated from the Milli Vanilli’s in that they actually plan on bringing something to the table. These people are delusional and believe that they actually have talent, and that someone actually cares about what they think. Of course they really don’t have talent or any significant basketball experience validating their opinions, but it would be worth it allow them into the locker room, and much like Britney, after they’ve made it, they’ll spiral out of control, shave their heads, and show up pantyless until they get sent to Parkland’s psych ward. These guys probably have a good chance of making it in, just so that Cuban can show that he’s “not discriminating.” Odds 5 to 1.

So, it’ll be interesting to see who makes Cuban’s cut. If I’m right it’ll be a mix of the pre-pubescent, the panty-less, and the penniless college students. Yeah, I’m sure the Mavs players are looking forward to this.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Hey Benefactor, pick me!!

I don’t like the Dallas Mavericks.

This statement alone should cause Mark Cuban to immediately stop reading this and move onto the next blogger.

My intent is not to annoy Mr. Cuban, but rather to test him. He aims to open up the Mavericks’ locker room to any blogger.

If he truly wants to see how allowing access to the “Joes” of the blogging world affects locker room coverage, then I’m his man.

A neophyte to the blogging world, I read Mr. Cuban’s blog for advice as to how to blog. He wrote, “troll the net looking for other people's work and then throw out some witty comments or a simple rant to complement a link to that work.” There I just did it. Hey! This blogging stuff is easy! I think that last line qualifies as a witty comment (witty can be argued, but it is a comment), so I must be a great blogger now!

I’ve just recently moved from Houston, so the only blogging I’ve done is on the Houston Chronicle’s website in regards to the Rockets. Mr. Cuban hit the nail on the head in describing my previous work when he wrote, “they sit in front of the TV and throw out posts/comments about the game.”

My comments would go along the lines of “She-Mac’s always hurt, trade him!” Never mind that I have no idea of his actual status, how much pain he’s in, or the extent of his injury. Or (before their 22 game win streak), I’d write something like, “This team stinks, that Adelman’s an idiot!” Never mind that he’s been to the NBA finals twice or has over 800 wins, I know more than he does, because I’m a blogger!

But of course, being in the Dallas Mavericks’ locker room, I couldn’t cover the Houston Rockets (like I said, I just moved here, so give me time to switch allegiances. BTW, letting me cover the Mavs is a good start on said switch). I agree with Mr. Cuban in that I don’t see the point of the bloggers having to have locker room access. Isn’t what counts on the court? With that said, I don’t plan on blogging about the Mavericks. I’m not going to waste his players’ time asking them what their favorite color is or why they missed a particular shot (as if they missed it on purpose). I intend to blog about the bloggers in the locker room.

I intend to write about them, what they’re doing. I’ll interject every now and then. For example, here’s a theoretical exchange I’ve already acted out in my brain:
Pseudojournalist: “Jason Kidd, do you think this trade has made the Mavericks a worser team?”
Me before Mr. Kidd can answer: “WTF! First of all, ‘worser’ is not a word. Ignoring your ignorance of the English language, what do you expect him to say? ‘Yeah, I suck?’ Come on!”

Here’s another example of what I would offer:
Wannabe-journalist: “Avery, do you think that you should have had Jason Kidd in there at the end of the game?”
Me: “You’re asking him that?! If he thought that Jason Kidd should have been in there, wouldn’t he have put him in? He’s the freakin’ coach for goodness sake! Should he have had him in there? Well, they lost, which means that whatever he did was the wrong choice . So yes, he should have had him in there. Of course he’s not going to say that because that would be tantamount to saying, ‘I don’t know what I’m doing.’ Speaking of not knowing what they’re doing…”

These bloggers are just going to waste your players’ time, so I intend to waste theirs. Why should they go in the locker room and ask about Dirk’s injury? How is blogger X’s knowledge of Dirk’s personal medical opinion going to change anything at all?

I could go on, but I have to save some for future rants, err blogs. God bless the First Amendment.